GITEGA October 26th (ABP) – The general directorate of civil protection and disaster management, with the support of UNDP, organized a three-day awareness workshop on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 in Gitega (center of the country). designers of school programs from the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, on the integration of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and adaptation to climate change (ACC) into the curricula of the national education system.
In his speech, the general director of civil protection and disaster management at the same time president of the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management (PFN-PRGC), Mr. Anicet Nibaruta indicated that the integration of Disaster risk reduction in primary and secondary education curricula involves greater awareness and knowledge of the environment in which children and their families live and work.
He added that children with some knowledge of natural disaster risks play an important role in emergencies. Therefore, he pointed out that currently hundreds of millions of children, especially those in developing countries, attend schools that can no longer withstand the adverse forces of nature, at a time when in all societies of the world, children represent the future and schools are places of learning where cultural values and knowledge are transmitted to younger generations.
It is for that reason that Mr. Nibaruta asked education stakeholders to support the project aimed at integrating the prevention of natural hazards into school programs and to protect school buildings, with a view to protecting children against risks. of disasters. He also specified that the latter threaten certain municipalities in the country and that Burundi is more threatened compared to other countries in the region.
He also noted that that project will allow children to build a safer Burundi themselves and will contribute visibly to the national vision of making Burundi an emerging country in 2040 and a developed country in 2060.
Based on that, Mr. Nibaruta asked the Government of Burundi to follow in the footsteps of other African countries which have understood that disaster risk reduction must be an integral part of educational programs and that school buildings must be constructed or reinforced to resist natural hazards.
He also asked the population to draw contour lines on the hills and plant anti-erosion hedges and trees there, in order to fight against natural hazards including landslides, floods, pandemics, etc. which are sometimes observed in certain localities of the country, notably in all the communes of Bujumbura Town Hall and the Mutimbuzi commune of Bujumbura province, at a time when that year, Burundi will experience greater rainfall compared to the year passed.
As for the permanent secretary at the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Frédéric Bangirinama, he pointed out that almost every year, Burundi faces extreme weather events linked to climate change and are increasingly receding and violent and that the outlook is always upward rather than downward.
He pointed out that the data from the various provincial education directorates on the destruction of school infrastructure most often caused by rain and violent winds are more alarming. The school provinces of Cibitoke, Bubanza, Bujumbura, Rumonge and Makamba are the most affected each year in the said sector and it is sometimes difficult for the ministry to respond in real time to the various requests.
In view of the existing teaching programs in the national education system, said Mr. Bangirinama, that knowledge and skills deserve to be included at different levels of training at the basic and post-basic level and even in higher education. However, he explained, they require careful preparation since they require sufficient human and material resources to successfully implement them in order to sustainably cope with the impacts of disasters. According to him, Burundi would not shy away from that international dynamic in the face of globalization.