St. Maarten to host regional safe schools meeting – iWitness News

By Kenton X. Likelihood

BALI, Indonesia (CMC) — The Third Caribbean Ministerial Discussion board on Faculty Security, which was postponed from final yr due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, shall be held in St. Maarten subsequent month.

Exterior relations officer on the United Nations Workplace for Catastrophe Danger Discount (UNDRR), Regional Workplace – The Americas and the Caribbean, Saskia Carusi, mentioned the primary focus of June 28-30 occasion shall be on reaffirming commitments from the ministries of Training to work in in the direction of the secure faculties.

“And now with the COVID pandemic, it’s even more relevant because we saw how this crisis affected the education sector really significantly. So that will be for sure one of the topics of conversation,” Carusi advised the Caribbean Media Company (CMC) on the International Platform for Catastrophe Danger Discount, which wrapped up right here on Friday.

To this point, 18 nations from the Caribbean, each from Caribbean Catastrophe Emergency Administration Company (CDEMA) member nations, CARICOM member states in addition to Cuba, and the Dominican Republic have signed up the declaration as a part of the Caribbean Protected Colleges Initiative (CSSI).

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CSSI was launched in April 2017 throughout the First Caribbean Ministerial Discussion board on Faculty Security and is the prompt framework to advance faculty security within the Caribbean.

The initiative is the Caribbean’s contribution to the Worldwide-Initiative on Protected Colleges and is a partnership for advancing secure faculty implementation on the nationwide stage amongst Caribbean nations.

“And this is kind of the Caribbean commitment towards that global initiative. So, this is a specific initiative of the Caribbean,” Carusi mentioned.

“So it takes into account very specific challenges, small island development states, the climate risk, how does it fit within the comprehensive disaster management strategy of CDEMA…”

Subsequent month’s assembly follows up on the  Regional Evaluate on Faculty Security within the context of Systemic Danger: The Digital Caribbean Protected Faculty Initiative Pre-Ministerial Discussion board, held on-line in March 2021.

Carusi advised CMC that the ministerial discussion board is a part of efforts to strengthen frequently the relation between the ministries of training and catastrophe administration companies within the Caribbean, because the area is particularly weak to a number of threats.

“We have climate risks, which are increasing; we have tsunamis, earthquakes, and also COVID. Then there are also technological hazards and other safety issues that can happen. “So, the Safe School agenda hasn’t been as relevant as us today,” Carusi mentioned.

The initiative features a roadmap the place training ministers will decide to and resolve on concrete actions earlier than every discussion board.

“This roadmap is monitored to see advances. We know, for example, that now most Caribbean countries have a unit or persons specifically responsible for safe schools. So that is already a very good starting point,” Carusi advised CMC.

One of many achievements to date is that ministries for training have particular catastrophe threat discount plans to start out working.

“So now that we have achieved this, we need to keep improving,” Carusi mentioned, including that an space that also wants enchancment is resilient infrastructure, including that the dialogue right here this week exhibits this to be much more related and necessary.

“How do we really strengthen infrastructure not only like physical infrastructure, but also its function? For example, water and sanitation. This is really key to reducing the spread of COVID. So how do we improve water and sanitation? How do we guarantee that services are not interrupted at school? And how do we guarantee the schools keep functioning when an event happens and that service is not disrupted?”

Carusi mentioned the discussion board doesn’t seize points referring to violence in and at college “as a result of that has particular components.

“For sure, this will come up at the forum because it’s a wider understanding of safety, even if, in this case, is more towards disaster risks. But it will surely come up because this is a sensitive issue and it’s a priority,” mentioned, noting that the occasion shall be held in-person, not like the March 2021 gathering.

“St. Maarten is ready to host us. We have a very good number of confirmations already  from mostly ministers some summit delegates, parliamentary secretaries who will be attending — ministers who are already part of the initiative but we also have ministers who are not yet part of the initiative, like Trinidad and Tobago, for example, who will then take the opportunity, we hope, to join this.”

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