SouthCot to integrate disaster preparedness in school curriculum

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 15 Jan) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is pushing for the integration by next school year of disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) lessons into the basic curriculum of public and private schools within the province.

Ramon Ponce de Leon, acting Provincial DRMM Office (PDRRMO) chief, said they have scheduled a series of trainings starting next month to prepare school coordinators, principals and teachers in the mainstreaming of the DRMM lessons.

He said the trainings will focus on the creation of classroom modules for the DRMM lessons and the adoption of effective teaching strategies for students and pupils.

“We’re looking at initially training a core of teacher-trainers who will be tapped later for the training of the other teachers,” Ponce de Leon said.

The official said they pushed for the integration of the DRRM lessons in the curriculum of local schools to further expand public awareness on the matter.

He said the move will not only benefit students, pupils and their teachers but their parents as well as other community stakeholders.

“We can prevent casualties during disasters if the people are properly informed and ready to face them,” he pointed out.

Ponce de Leon said they are planning to start the trainings by the last week of February, depending on the availability of the teachers and other prospective training participants.

“We have already set aside the budget for this and we’re only waiting for the feedback from DepEd (Department of Education) for the availability of the participants,” he said.

The training will likely begin after the scheduled Cotabato Regional Athletic Association Meet in the second week of February that will be hosted anew by the provincial government of South Cotabato.

Ponce de Leon said they will prioritize the training of teachers in identified disaster-prone areas within the province.

He said they are targeting to train a total of 732 teachers, principals and school coordinators of elementary and secondary schools within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

He added that they expect to complete the trainings within three months or by May to allow its implementation by local schools by the opening of classes in June.

The PDRRMO has listed 155 of the province’s 199 barangays or about 78 percent as highly vulnerable to flashfloods and landslides.

The Department of Science and Technology has installed 12 automated rain gauges in various parts of the province in the last two years to help build up the area’s preparedness against weather-related disasters.