Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — 23 of the 24 Safety and Emergency Teams (SETs) of our Primary and Secondary school were trained as part of the School Safety Initiatives of the Ministry of Education, Culture Youth & Sport.
The 1-day “Safe School Virtual Training” was aimed to support School Safety Teams in the implementation of the school safety guidelines, providing basic disaster risk management knowledge as well as guidance on carrying out risk assessment and develop or update school safety & emergency plans.
At the end of the training, participants acquired skills to recognize the importance of school safety; differentiate the concepts of hazards, vulnerability, risk and resources as they relate to disaster risk management; apply tools to assess school safety of a given facility; and develop or update a School Safety & Emergency Plan.
The training of the Safety & Emergency Teams (SETs) started on June 17 and concluded on August 19, 2021 to allow for all schools to register for the training. The training was executed by the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) in collaboration with UNICEF The Netherlands, financed by the Government of the Netherlands through the Sint Maarten Trustfund as part of the Child Resilience and Protection project (CRPP).
In 2018, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) developed the “Safety and Emergency Response Guidelines for Schools” with the support of UNICEF The Netherlands. This document provides guidance for disaster safety planning in schools, emphasizing the work to be carried out by School Safety Teams (SETs). It also outlines the do’s and don’ts before and during emergencies, suggesting possible steps for various hazards. SETs went on to draft their school safety & emergency plans under the guidance of the Student Support Services Division and with the support of UNICEF the Netherlands.