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Teachers are pivotal to disaster risk reduction

Wednesday October 05, 2011 – 11:00 a.m.

 

Teachers are pivotal in disaster risk reduction

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) joins the United Nations in commemorating World Teachers Day 2011. This day is flagged in our calendar because we at the ODPM, understand the important role that teachers and educators play in disaster risk reduction. Each year, the ODPM partners with the Ministry of Education to host two Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop for Teachers, in order to enhance their knowledge of all hazards (natural and human-induced) which affect our twin-island Republic. The role of a teacher in educating and empowering the children, who are agents of change, is undeniable and must not be understated.

The story of Tilly Smith, an eleven-year-old British schoolgirl, who was on holiday in Thailand with her family when the tsunami struck in December 2004, resonates with us and reinforces the role of teachers. Tilly remembered the tsunami warning signs that she was taught by her Geography teacher and consequently was able to warn her parents of the impending tsunami. This alarm that was raised by Tilly, led to hotel guests being rapidly evacuated from the beach and dozens of lives being spared. Tilly's story highlights the critical role that teachers play in minimising and in some cases, preventing the tragic impacts of natural disasters.

The ODPM continues to embrace every opportunity to partner with the Ministry of Education in order to assist with enhancing the disaster risk reduction knowledge of our nation’s teachers. With teachers being empowered, we are sure that we are well on our way to building a culture of safety and resilience.

ENDS

Issued by:

Public Information, Education and Community Outreach Unit

 

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