May 28, 2020

Caribbean Safe School Ministerial Forum to focus on education sector resilience


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Education minister Karl Samuda

, St Vincent (CMC) — St Vincent and the Grenadines will host the second Caribbean Safe School Ministerial Forum next week that will focus on education sector resilience.

The Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) said the April 29-30 event to be attended by regional education ministers, saying regional and international stakeholders will contribute to its Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy and Programming Framework 2014-2024, as well as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Worldwide Initiative for Safe Schools.

It said that the Caribbean Safe School Initiative; the Samoa Action Plan for SIDS, the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development; the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will also be discussed.

The forum coincides with the staging of the two-day Youth Forum titled “My Island, My Life” that begins on Thursday and will identify safety issues around the three pillars of the Comprehensive School Safety Framework.

“This Youth Forum… intends to be a platform through which young people can contribute to policy discussions through their collective ideas, solutions and innovations. The conclusions and recommendations of the Youth Forum will be presented during the Ministerial Forum.”

CDEMA noted that the Caribbean is a region of high exposure to multiple natural hazards including hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, windstorms, tsunamis, landslides and droughts. They warn that vulnerability combined with exposure to such hazards can serve to drastically undermine poverty reduction strategies, hinder development gains and jeopardise educational systems.

“In line with global recognition, the importance of school safety had also been long acknowledged in the Caribbean. The 2014-2024 Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy calls for increased and sustained knowledge management and learning for Comprehensive Disaster Management, as well as standardisation and improvement of educational and training materials.”

The first Caribbean Safe School Ministerial Forum was held in Antigua and Barbuda in 2017.

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