November 18, 20111081Views

Friday, November 19 – A one day workshop, held at the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), served to tailor a recently designed Disaster Management game for use among local educational institutions.

            The DDM and the Department of Education have partnered with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), under the CARICOM/BRAZIL/FAO Project for Safe Living Schools in the Caribbean, to develop a national School Health and Safety Policy for the education sector.

            As part of the requirements of the Project, CDEMA intends to develop disaster risk management tools for educational institutions that will foster greater awareness of hazards in school-aged children. This has led to the visit of two consultants to the Virgin Islands to facilitate a one-day capacity building workshop aimed at obtaining input in the design and layout of an interactive game for students that emphasizes disaster risk management.

            The lead consultant was Dr. Balfour Spence, a Professor at Brandon University in Canada. He specializes in Disaster Risk Assessment, Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction Planning and Risk Communication. In conducting these workshops, he seeks to assist the process of developing a Safety School Programme for all CDEMA Participating States.

            Dr. Spence was assisted by Dr. Virginia Clerveaux, a Disaster Management Specialist and the current Deputy Director of the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

            In his comments about the project, Dr. Spence said, “We’ve come up with a toolkit which is a menu of knowledge enhancement resources that can be used by educators and disaster risk managers in advancing the ‘living school’ concept.”

            He further explained that the toolkit was developed into a game much like the popular television game show Jeopardy and was subsequently named “Natural Disaster Jeopardy.”

            Dr. Spence added, “The game is very interactive and is designed to allow for teachers or disaster managers to manipulate the questions or categories as they see fit to best suit their country, situation, classroom or age cohorts.”

            The capacity building exercise will focus on providing training to teachers in the application of the game. It is important to utilize stakeholders to configure the questions which should reflect the local environment.

            The Living School Project, where the focus is the enhancement of the Disaster Risk Management knowledge, will be developed for school children between the ages of 5 and 16.

For more information, interested persons may call 284-468-4200, inquire via [email protected], or visit our offices at #3 Wailing Road, MacNamara, Tortola.