Oro teachers trained on disaster preparedness-A A +A
Sunday, September 22, 2013
PUBLIC secondary school teachers in Cagayan de Oro City are undergoing a training for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) to prepare the communities in Cagayan de Oro City if another calamity would hit Northern Mindanao.
In a five-day training sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Manresa complex in Upper Carmen, around 50 teachers from the city are equipping themselves with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide assistance to minimize the effects of disasters.
Some of the teachers who participated in the activity are from schools hit by a massive flood when Typhoon Sendong hit the city on Dec. 17, 2011.
“Ang among school biktima siya atong sa Sendong (international name: TS Washi), nag-suffer gyud ang school kai daghan na-damage nga gamit (Our school was affected by Sendong, it suffered and a lot of materials have been damaged),” said Corazon Baculio, a teacher from Puntod National High School.
Teacher Rowena Galodo from Angeles Sister National High School told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that their school located near the Cagayan River was hit hard by the flood.
On the United Nations (UN) Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s website, the UN Secretary-General’s special representative for disaster risk reduction Margareta Wahlstrom explained that Japan is an excellent example for other disaster-prone countries worth emulating after the Japanese people endured the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami.
“We are aware of the examples of where school children (Japanese) seized the initiative and escaped tsunami while also helping younger children to flee,” Wahlsrom said to emphasize the importance of disaster risk reduction trainings.
Galodo and Baculio participated in the activity to learn and pass on their knowledge to students and co-teachers so they can mobilize the population during calamities.
“Ni-participate ko ani para ma-reduce gyud siya or kung puwede zero nga dili gyud moabot sa amo utro (I participated in this activity to reduce or if possible to eliminate the effects of disasters),” said Baculio.
Part of the training is the integration of DRRM training to school subjects particularly Science and Social Studies.
Mercy Labial, the International Research and Exchange Board (Irex) grant awardee, said that the teachers will be equipped with the knowledge and skills that could be passed on to other teachers in their respective departments.
Irex is an international non-profit organization that administers the implementation of the project.
Part of their activity is the critiquing of their DRMM-integrated lesson plans.
Preparing the community
“This (DRR training) will cascade to better and prepared community,” said Dr. Rowena Paras, a representative from the Department of Education’s (DepEd) division office.
She explained that the knowledge and skills from the training will be disseminated in the classroom and in the community.
“Not only will the students be well-informed but also their immediate families,” she added.
Labial said that part of the activity is the organization of School-based Disaster Risk Management Council in 10 public schools in the city.
She added that this training will provide the teachers with DRRM concepts and how to “mitigate, prepare for, and respond to the effects of disaster.”
This project is a fulfillment of the mandate in Republic Act 10121 (Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010), Section 14, stating that “disaster risk trainings shall be integrated in the school curricula in the secondary and tertiary level.”
DepEd, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Red Cross, City Local and Environment and Natural Resources Office, Department of Health, and the Office of Civil Defense are the partners of this project.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 22, 2013.