The National Council of Rural Institutes conducted the International day for Disaster Reduction programme at Osmania University in which climate variations and disaster preparedness were discussed. “This region has experienced unprecedented hot summers followed by intermittent rains and a brief dry spell followed by incessant rains, all of them indicating unpredictable variability in the climate. We need to ready the communities, schools and administration. Teachers and teacher education institutes have a key role in promoting education for disaster risk reduction and preparedness. Their role goes beyond the school into the community and beyond the curriculum into practice. Training the teacher educators of B Ed and M Ed would be at the heart of promoting disaster resilience in communities especially in rural areas” said Mahendra Rajaram, Disaster Risk Reduction Officer of UNICEF.
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“School safety and all weather school infrastructure supports building the culture of disaster prevention, risk reduction and preparedness among the children and communities is the starting point in disaster risk reduction” he added.
“Training schools and students through mock drills and practical aspects of taking precautions is an important aspect of teacher education. We need to help the rural communities to identify their strengths and address the areas of concern in the context of recurrent droughts and floods. Transaction and research in Disaster Management Education is the key for that.
It is time education is seen as addressing the evolving challenges of the community. Practical orientation is essential for the students and community engagement is the way forward”, said Prof Ramakrishna Dean Faculty of Education Osmania University.
“As part of teacher education on these aspects, the Education Department of Osmania University has developed a curriculum on Disaster Management for B Ed and M Ed students. This curriculum is being implemented from this year.
“Today we are going to finalise the strategy of training the colleges of education into transacting this curriculum in rural areas so as to build resilience in communities through B Ed and M Ed students and children of the schools they will be going to for their practicals” said Dr T Mrunalini Head Department of Education Osmania University.
Speaking on the occasion Dr W G Prasanna Kumar, Chairman NCRI said “NCRI is going to focus on rural community and higher education system interaction for mutual benefit. The rural communities are not challenges but they are an excellent source of learning about coping patterns and response. Over 4 lakh teachers join the education stream across the country every year.
“They join in over 10 lakh educational institutions and most of them are from rural India and serve rural India. These teachers have an important role in building resilience in rural India for meeting challenges of various disasters most of which are climate change induced”.
To promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness the United Nations General Assembly, has designated 13 October as the date for International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). Since it began 25 years ago, the day has grown into a major global awareness event observed in many ways to encourage efforts to build more disaster-resilient communities and nations.
During the day mock exercise on evacuation, response to earthquakes, fire and floods were practiced by the Teacher Educators from over 60 B Ed colleges under the Osmania University.
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