The disaster risk reduction educational programme for primary schools in the City of Tshwane : a critical analysis
Coles, Jennifer Robyn.
MetadataShow full item record
The last three decades have seen an increase in the severity and impact which disasters have had on society. This has necessitated a radical shift in thinking pertaining to the prevention and mitigation of the impact of hazards, in order to create more resilient communities and change the focus from managing disaster to reduce disaster risk. Developing more efficient disaster reduction strategies will not only save a substantial amount of money but save many lives as well. Over the last two decades, a number of international conventions and conferences have taken place that have served as catalysts in shifting the emphasis from disaster management to disaster risk reduction. In seeking new ways to implement new disaster risk reduction strategies it has become increasingly apparent that children have a vital role to play within disaster risk reduction strategies. Children are excellent conduits of disaster risk information and can therefore create significant disaster risk awareness within their communities. It is therefore imperative that disaster risk reduction strategies should include the promotion of disaster risk awareness aimed at children. To this end, a number of disaster risk reduction educational materials have been developed and implemented in countries around the world. However there seems to be a general lack of evidence showing the effectiveness of these interventions and whether they have contributed to the overall enhancement of community resilience and ultimately to disaster risk reduction. To be effective, disaster risk reduction school educational programmes must result in greater disaster resilience in communities. This research aimed at critically analysing the disaster risk reduction educational programme for primary schools in the City of Tshwane in order to determine its effectiveness as a tool for disaster risk reduction. In addition, this research sought to draw a comparison in terms of disaster risk awareness, preparedness, mitigation and response knowledge amongst learners in the schools which implemented this programme against those schools which have not as yet implemented the programme. The South African disaster risk reduction legislative requirements was scrutinised in order to ascertain legislative requirements in terms of governing disaster risk management in South Africa. After conducting a literature review and conducting focus groups and semi–structured interviews it was concluded that there is evidence that the school guide pack intervention instilled confidence in the learners about their knowledge of disaster risk reduction. In addition learners who had been taught from the school guide pack had a good understanding that they should specifically be aware of risks and hazards. The song was a feature in the school guide pack which received a very favourable response from all the learners. Learners who had been taught from the school guide pack had the knowledge that to be prepared they need to tell the community how to be safe, to tell their friends to be aware of risks and hazards and to know the emergency number. Learners in schools where the school guide pack was implemented all knew their local emergency number. Three unexpected finding also came to the fore, namely evidence emerged that School B struggled with the implementation of the school guide pack. Secondly learners in School C displayed a good understanding of disaster risk reduction, despite the fact that School C had not implemented the school guide pack. Finally, learners from School D exhibited strong, underlying emotions when participating in the focus group. Lastly, a number of recommendations were made as to components and aspects which should be considered when developing disaster risk reduction educational material in order for it to be an effective method of disaster risk reduction and mitigation. It was concluded that when implemented in isolation from additional disaster risk reduction activities, the City of Tshwane's Metropolitan Municipality primary schools programme, was not a sufficient tool for reducing disaster risk in the City of Tshwane. However if the disaster risk reduction primary school programme was combined with a well planned, Metropolitan wide, disaster risk reduction campaign which incorporated all spheres of the community, there is a much greater likelihood that disaster risk reduction would be achieved.
- Humanities