Islamabad, 25 March, 2016:
Second Consultative Dialogue on National Policy Guidelines for School Safety against disasters held between NDMA and UNICEF
NDMA in collaboration with UNICEF and ADPC organized the second Consultative Dialogue to develop the Comprehensive School Safety Guidelines at National level, here at Islamabad. It was a two day event held on the 24th and 25th of March, 2016. The Gender and Child Cell of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA – GCC), with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) is in the process of developing a set of National School Safety Policy Guidelines to be used by public and private schools across the Country in the event of natural and man-made disasters.
Chairman NDMA Major General Asghar Nawaz thanked the participants and recalled how helpful the input from the first dialogue had been. He stated that he had great faith in his team who was working day and night for the development of the guidelines and gave his own valuable input regarding the implementation of the guidelines. The chairman also said that NDMA aimed to launch the finalized document by January 2017.
The School Safety Guidelines will cover establishment and training of a school disaster safety team, development of the school safety and security plan, awareness creation about possible disasters, analysis of the specific vulnerability and hazards of the School environment, evacuation routes and identified safe places, developing cooperation with the community; and practical exercises and evacuation mock drills to enable the School community to be prepared and to act adequately to save lives in case of an emergency.
The purpose of the guidelines is to build the capacity of Schools across the Country to prepare against and respond to disasters in an effective and efficient manner with minimal damage and loss of life. The sustained implementation of Guidelines would involve structural and non-structural interventions, establishment of a coordination mechanism amongst stakeholders and capacity building.
Participants for this two day activity comprised a select group of people who provided their valuable input for the development of the document. The participants were from ADPC, UNICEF, UNESCO and Hope ’87.