Strategic Approaches to Developing a Culture of Safety Management in Schools as a Mitigation Measure Against Natural Disasters
Natural disasters such asstorms, extreme temperatures, fire, earthquakes, cyclones, typhoons, droughts, floods and desertification can take children’s lives and their right to quality education. All school-based education stakeholders and the school neighbourhood should therefore be alert and ready for any occurrence of natural disasters.This paper identifies and discusses strategies that schools can employ to prepare and minimize effects of natural disasters. Using theoretical propositions on disaster management, the paper discusses strategies for prevention, preparedness, responsiveness and recovery from natural disasters within a school setting. Evidence from research indicates that these are basic principles and practices of disaster management that school management and learners may not be aware of. Based on the identified theoretical principles and practices for disaster management, such as post-disaster therapy or healing and resilience coping, the paper concludes that both state and non-state parties have disaster management responsibilities and therefore should formulate and disseminate the basic principles and practices for disaster prevention, preparedness and post-disaster therapy to schools, due to the vulnerability of children when disasters strike. Added to this, it is also recommended that disaster management be included into the school curricula through subjects like geography, science, social studies or civic education and life orientation/skills.
Index terms: natural disasters, disaster preparedness, disaster management, post-disaster therapy.