Japanese NPO pushes for disaster educ in PH schools amid climate change
Extreme weather patterns brought by climate change prompted a Japanese non-profit organization (NPO) to champion weather education in Philippine schools.
The Philippines ranked the highest among the 193 countries in the World Risk Index 2022. The Philippines is located at the Pacific Ring of Fire making it vulnerable to natural disasters and other emergencies. On average, about 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, global disaster data showed. Under such circumstance, school children and young people are most often placed at risks, and the Philippines is showing openness to stronger disaster education in schools.
In Central Visayas, where the activity is being piloted and to be rolled out in all schools, a workshop on climate change adaptation was held this 24 August 2023 in Talisay City, Province of Cebu. The activity is in partnership with Department of Education (DepEd) - Region VII and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). This workshop is also supported by City of Talisay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.
"For incoming typhoons, understanding weather forecast information is crucial to foresee what will happen and plan ahead of disasters" said DepEd Schools Division Office of Talisay City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Coordinator, Giovanni Almendras.
The activity in Cebu is part of the third phase of “Strengthening and Promoting School-Based Disaster Risk Reduction in Central Visayas.” The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supports this cooperation under its Technical Cooperation for Grassroots Projects in efforts to address global issues like climate change together with Japanese citizens and organizations.
"Extreme weather events test the resilience of communities, especially vulnerable sectors like school children. Therefore, JICA wants to encourage investment in disaster education so people can adapt and become more ready when disaster happens. Through this workshop, we look forward to supporting efforts in training more teachers and school personnel in the Philippines on tested approaches on disaster preparedness we have in Japan," said JICA Project Formulation Adviser MOTOTANI Chihiro.
Japanese NPO “SEEDS Asia” and DepEd in Cebu, in collaboration with Hyogo Prefecture in Japan, will develop training programs for teachers and personnel that foster leadership, knowledge exchange, and collaboration in disaster preparedness and management.
Meteorological experts from PAGASA, Japan’s Tokoha University, and SEEDS Asia will share their knowledge on understanding climate hazards, importance of weather education, and weather observation devices used in Myanmar and India.
JICA and SEEDS Asia have been supporting disaster education in the Philippines, helping train around 300 teachers and government personnel on disaster management.