The Minister of State in the Ministry of Education Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, yesterday signed the regional Caribbean safe school initiative in Kingstown, St Vincent. Minister Terrelonge participated in the two day 2nd Caribbean Safe School Ministerial forum.

 

Minister Terrelonge expressed “Today I had the honour of signing the Caribbean Safe School Initiative as contained in the Antigua & Barbuda Declaration of 2017, on behalf of Jamaica. 

The declaration prioritizes school safety in the Caribbean, and in so doing, Jamaica reaffirms our commitment to disaster risk management in the education sector & the right to quality and inclusive education for all our children. 

 

It is an honour to represent my country at the 2nd Caribbean Safe School Ministerial Forum in St Vincent. Given the frequency and ferocity of natural disasters in the region occasioned by climate change, it is imperative that we examine our disaster risk reduction as a region, and that we also focus on building resilience & devising policy to secure our schools against the myriad of geophysical hazards including earthquakes and hurricanes, and lessen the psycho social effects of natural disasters on students and staff.”

 

The Initiative seeks to motivate and support Governments to develop national strategies and implement school safety, building upon the Comprehensive School Safety Framework and defining a safe school as one that combines all of the following elements, defined as its three core pillars, which should be addressed by education policies and plans, and aligned with disaster management at national, regional, district, and local school site levels: ● Safe Learning Facilities (disaster-resilient infrastructure); ● School Disaster Management; ● Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Education.

 

The conference was hosted by the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in partnership with CDEMA, OECS Commission, UNICEF, UNISDR, UNESCO, CDB and IsraAID.

 

CAPTION: Minister of State in the Ministry of Education Youth and Information, Alando Terrelonge, signing the regional Caribbean safe school initiative in Kingstown, St Vincent.