Saint Kitts - Nevis Partners to Continue School Safety Thrust

By: UNDRR – The Americas

Saint Kitts and Nevis, Thursday, October 25, 2017 – Saint Kitts and Nevis completed the trainings being conducted in the Caribbean as part of the Model Safe School Programme (MSSP). The St. Kitts sessions took place from 9th – 13th of October. This training aims to conduct school vulnerability assessments with the objective of identifying priorities that will strengthen schools safety. While according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization Saint Kitts and Nevis were spared the worst from Atlantic Hurricanes Irma and Maria; they experiences of this past hurricane season in surrounding islands brought attention to the importance and urgency of implementing school safety within disaster risk reduction policies given its impact on economic and sustainable development at a national and regional level.

Saint Kitts and Nevis, the smallest country in the Caribbean,is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) located in the Leeward Island chain of the Lesser Antilles. The Caribbean is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world. Various types of natural and man-made hazards can impact the region including floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, volcanic eruptions in some countries, infectious diseases and climate change and all the varied impacts associated with it. Disasters and the associated impacts threaten lives and the economic, social, developmental and environmental progress made in the region over the past decades. Educational institutions are no exception.

In light of this, St. Kitts and Nevis, taking into great consideration its size, highlighted its importance of partnering globally to ensure its resilience and preparation in order to return of the Education system to normalcy following a disaster in a timely fashion. It was therefore a welcome occurrence when Mr. Marcel Goyeneche, facilitator of the five day school safety training advised participants ceremony to would look at the global and regional frameworks advancing school safety."We will go in-depth with the model school safety programme; the safety approach; the sustainability approach, as well as, to train you in how to measure success to be better able to manage the programme's sustainability."

Representative from the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Eleanor Phillip, emphasized the importance of the training to Educators and other key stakeholders in the Twin Island Federation. "In light of the catastrophic hurricanes that recently impacted our islands the importance of this vulnerability assessment and school safety training goes without saying. We must take every opportunity to use the tools to which we will be exposed to assess schools for risk, empower them to prepare assessment reports and design action plans."

The training introduced participants to the MSSP and its contribution to Caribbean Save School Initiative and as such to the implementation of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy 2014-2024, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the Worldwide Initiative of School Safety.

The MSSP, endorsed by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Council in 2015, is designed to assist CDEMA Participating States with implementing processes that result in safer and greener educational facilities.

Sharon Layne- Augustine Senior Programme Officer at the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency who also participated in the training explained that "the model approach will be applied in six of the CDEMA participating states including, Antigua and Barbuda; Guyana; Montserrat, St. Lucia, The Turks and Caicos Islands and St. Kitts and Nevis"

The schools participating in this training throughout the region will benefit greatly, as using the safety standards and the application of the assessment tools will provide Ministries and schools with a means of understanding the anatomy of the risk they face, thus enabling them to make fact-based decisions on the design and implementation of programmes to increase the resilience of school. The information generated by the application of the assessment tools will allow for flexible action planning across various times scales (short, medium and long-term) considering the available resources and other unique characteristics of the implementing country.

This activity contributes to the implementation of the Caribbean Road Map for School Safety, which guides the Caribbean Safe School and was launched on April 2017 during the Caribbean Safe School Ministerial Forum. The training will be replicated in other Caribbean countries and is part of an initiative jointly implemented by UNDRR and CDEMA thanks to the financial support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Government of Korea.


Related links:

MSSP Saint Kitts and Nevis

Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) Framework

Worldwide Initiative for Safe Schools (WISS)

Model Safe School ProgrammeMSSP

Caribbean Road Map for School Safety

Caribbean Safe School Ministerial Forum



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