Dominica, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbdua and St. Kitts and Nevis have commenced consultations toward the development of a National Safe School Policy.
The consultations are being held over a two-week period, from May 13 to 29th.
The National Safe School Policy will provide the context for the amendment of existing legislation to integrate Disaster Risk Reduction and environmental protection measures for schools in the implementing countries.
The goal of the Model Safe School Programme for CDEMA Participating States is to create safe, secure/protective and green educational institutions from pre-primary to tertiary levels, including public and private institutions through the development of simple, applicable and adaptable tools.
A number of key stakeholders have already been targeted in the participating countries.
Eleanor Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Environmental Solutions Limited and Disaster Risk Management Specialist on the assignment, indicated that consultations to date, have revealed the centrality of the education sector to disaster resilience at the community level.
She says there is a vast number of lessons to be learned in the aftermath of the passage of Hurricanes Irma, (as well as Hurricane Maria, in Dominica) the need for psychosocial support in the aftermath of hazard events, and the need for policy considerations in relation to the use of schools as shelters.