Story by Kenias Chivuzhe
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has launched the Disaster Risk Management and Resilience Plan to capacitate schools in the face of increasing natural and human-induced disasters.
The increase in natural disasters has prompted the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in partnership with UNICEF to develop manuals aimed at enhancing risk preparedness as well as mitigating natural and man-made disasters.
Launching the Disaster Risk Management and Resilience Plan and Manuals in Mutare this Wednesday, the Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, Mrs Tumisang Thabela outlined the scope of the intervention.
“We noted that disasters are becoming more and more and they are affecting our children in the schools right across the country. We have experienced a number of disasters such as Cyclone Eline that indicated to us that there are some problems with the infrastructure we have. We have had disasters around drought and floods. When Cyclone Idai struck that’s when we noticed that we needed to plan as disasters become more frequent and intense.
“COVID-19 was another disaster that drove us to be proactive. We then developed a plan after we saw that the disasters are multiplying. This strategy has resulted in the production of material that can help school heads to manage disasters on their own. The launch of these materials is being together with the training of trainers programme. The trainers will go back to their provinces and train others so that each school is prepared for disasters,” she said.
UNICEF Chief Education Officer, Mrs Joelee Ayite, whose organisation supported the development of the plan is convinced the initiative will have a huge impact in both mitigation and response to disasters.
“We know how many human-made and natural disasters this country is facing. The plan seeks to prepare the schools, the districts, the provincial and the head office to mitigate against disasters and respond to the crises,” she noted.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is guided by the Comprehensive Schools Safety Framework (CSF) and Education Sector Strategic Plan which recognises natural disasters as a cross-cutting issue that require increased attention.