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Lao rc drr education


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Lao rc drr education

  1. 1. Investing in the future Lao Red Cross In October 2011, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) made the decision to include a curriculum on disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the formal education system, from primary school to university. The DRR curriculum has been drafted by the Ministry of Education and Sports Standing Committee, but has not yet been finalized as of December 2013. Planting seeds of knowledge By working with the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Lao Red Cross aims to invest in the future by planting seeds of knowledge about safety and resilience with children. The Lao Red Cross – an active stakeholder nationally for response and DRR – is advocating with the Standing Committee for the need to mainstream DRR into every stage of the school curriculum among relevant stakeholders, including partners Ministry of Education and Sports. In 2012, the Lao Red Cross has worked with the education department in the three provinces of Khammouan, Savannakhet and Salavan to raise awareness of DRR by targeting school teachers and students. The pilot in the three provinces integrates different DRR topics into regular school sessions at targeted primary schools, with the support of the local education authority, and the schools’ principals, teachers, students and parents. Credit: Lao Red Cross Khammouan The Lao Red Cross recognizes that children are agents of change. When they are empowered with knowledge on DRR through school activities, the messages extends to the wider community; children pass on messages and share the information with both their family and peers. Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction Savannakhet Salavan Step 1: orientation As the Lao Red Cross works to integrate disaster risk reduction into the curriculum, an orientation session for teachers and staff is organised as an initial step to introduce the basic concepts. For this pilot project, the orientation meetings involved 33 teachers from 20 schools and 5 staff members from the provincial department of education in Khammouan, Savannakhet and Salavan. The process is structured in such a way that educators will benefit from a clear understanding of disaster management terms and scenarios. It also provides a feedback loop for process improvement and evaluation. The pilot process consists of three main steps, as illustrated main steps, as illustrated:
  2. 2. Lao Red Cross 2 Case study Educate children today and invest in the future The process Step 1 Introduce school teachers and school staff members to basic disaster management terms. Make certain the teachers and staff members understand the terms. • Use flip charts with pictures to demonstrate disaster management terms. • Introduce disaster risk reduction games through the Disaster Risk Reduction: Learning through play DVD. Step 2 Introduce school children to basic disaster management terms. Make sure the children understand the terms and are able to identify with the concepts. • Use flip charts with pictures to demonstrate disaster management terms. • Introduce disaster risk reduction games through the Disaster Risk Reduction: Learning through play DVD. • Get children to play games with the teachers. • Get teachers to play games with the facilitators. Step 3 Evaluation and recommendations • Participants in the introduction provide feedback on the relevance and usefulness of the flip charts and the Disaster Risk Reduction: Learning through play DVD. • What can be improved in the flip charts and the games? • What are the recommendations from the teachers and the national educators? • Evaluators and participants can help provide an opinion for the way forward. Step 2: the learning process A series of sessions for teachers and staff are conducted in the following order: 1) questions and discussions 2) visuals and clarification, 3) games and reinforcement. Through these three sessions, participants learn about disaster management concepts, visual tools are used to clarify complex definitions such as ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’, and Lao Red Cross teams reinforce the learning through fun, interactive games. Step 3: The real-time scenario After a brief introduction, teachers are exposed to one specific scenario. They then have to test what they have learnt by demonstrating how they can transfer their knowledge to the children. In the pilot, breaking down complex messages was easy since teachers in Lao PDR are well trained and innovative. The children understood the messages easily because the teachers also took the initiative to localize the context and gave Laotian examples. On a technical level, fun and interesting tools such as flip charts and DVDs allow teachers to apply case-based reasoning. This was found to be particularly useful when teaching in an environment that does not benefit from any multimedia capacity. The case-based reasoning process allows teachers to draw on their own experiences, examining how problems from the past were solved and how those solutions could be applied to potential problems in the future. On a practical level, flip charts also help to eliminate disruption due to technical issues. For example, if a DVD player fails or a laptop crashes or if a school simply does not have any multimedia capacity, classes can still take place. Additionally, teachers consider the flip charts to be portable tools that can be used inside and outside the classroom. Teaching with the right tools Since 2008, the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) has been supporting the IFRC to deliver a regional initiative, ‘Enhancing Red Cross and Red Crescent capacities to build safer and more resilient communities in South-East Asia’. The initiative bolsters the ongoing disaster risk reduction education initiatives by Lao Red Cross – as well as other National Societies in the region - as they work successfully in schools and communities.
  3. 3. Lao Red Cross 3 Case study Educate children today and invest in the future DRR board games With this support, the IFRC and National Societies have also been able to develop a number of different interactive educational materials. When games are introduced to children, they can learn important messages in a fun way. And in the context of DRR, games tell children the importance of specific actions to be taken before, during and after disasters. Online games in 8 languages The IFRC has developed disaster risk reduction guidelines titled, “Children in disasters: Games and guidelines to engage youths in risk reduction”, as well as the DVD, “Disaster Risk Reduction: Learning through play”, which is available online in the eight main Southeast Asian languages including Laotian: Interactive flip charts The IFRC has additionally developed a flip chart titled, “Once upon a time”. Illustrated below, this learning tool allows a teacher to tell the story of what a family needs to remember during a flood. This ranges from what a community meeting is, to how to respond to an early warning alarm. It also allows a teacher to borrow working solutions from their own experience and from the Laotian context. The images are in sequence with the “Disaster Risk Reduction: Learning through play” DVD. Lao Red Cross is requesting further support from IFRC and donors to laminate the materials before binding, so teachers can make notes while delivering the presentation, in order to make it a more interactive learning experience. The children who took part in the pilot sessions enjoyed a DRR game that is modelled on a traditional snakes and ladders board game. The game follows a pedagogical model that is grounded in action-research initiatives. Children who play the game are encouraged to solve a problem – in this case, to answer questions, either individually or as a class. The class is then encouraged to become a small community of practice as they begin the reflection process with their teachers after playing the game. The Lao Red Cross and the IFRC tested it on a large board measuring 3 metres by 2 metres. The Lao Red Cross hopes that the output from the reflection process will eventually be linked to curriculum objectives. The IFRC has since expanded the project, and after the pilot, the board was further provided to several schools in Southeast Asia, adapting it to each local language.
  4. 4. Lao Red Cross 4 Case study Educate children today and invest in the future Observations and recommendations What next? With the support of a number of INGOs and the Ministry of Education and Sports, Khammouan was one of the first provinces to mainstream DRR into school education. However, more implementation is needed to cover the orientation process of more teachers, educators and officers from the education sector in order to reach more children in the province. The Lao Red Cross will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Education and Sports to integrate and mainstream DRR into both formal and informal school education. In this way, the National Society will strive to reach and empower children in school communities and to synergize this effort with wider community initiatives. Salavan, on the other hand, is a province without any DRR experience. However, it appears to have a great interest in and understanding of what it is to be disaster ready. Based on evaluation and feedback, Salavan needs DRR education. The provinces of Khammouan and Savannakhet have an awareness of DRR, but need refresher courses to remind teachers and students of what they learnt before. The evaluation recognized that 100 per cent of participants indicated a need for the laminated flip charts to be bigger, preferably A3 size. The Lao Red Cross test charts were made in A4. It was also noted that while the test visuals are good, a bigger set of charts with more colourful pictures and key messages at the back of each page would be more exciting for teachers and students, allowing teachers to use the charts to formulate lessons. Mr Vihath Sainalivong, Deputy Head of Khongxedon District Education Department in Salavan, said, “Some primary schools do not have DVD players and others may not have electricity…. The DVD is more interesting as a tool, but the flip chart is easier to use.” Orientation sessions on community-based disaster risk reduction should be given to primary and secondary school teachers so that they will gain a sound foundation in disaster risk reduction and can use this as leverage when teaching in schools. The Lao Red Cross, together with Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners and non–Movement partners, will endeavour to provide waterproof flip charts and other useful teaching aids to further foster the process of reaching more young people, as children learn relevant practical skills that they can take back and apply within their families and communities. The Lao Red Cross recognizes this is an effective way of saving lives and minimizing loss to property and livelihoods, and reducing health risk. A second field visit would be beneficial to measure the impact of the work and to assess if the tools provided are effective and continue to be relevant and easy to use. Regarding the DRR game, children loved it. Teachers and educators ranked the game as 100 per cent relevant to mainstreaming disaster risk reduction. Games are preferred by teachers and students alike, as they are fun and engaging. Students and teachers commented that it was easier to learn new ideas in a fun environment. æ For further information, please contact: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies South-East Asia Regional Delegation, Ocean Tower 1, 5th floor, 170/11-12 Sukhumvit soi 16, Klong-toey, 10110 Bangkok, Thailand Tel: +66 (0)26 618 201 | Fax: +66 (0)26 619 322 Follow us: