HUYE – Starting with the next academic year, students in secondary schools will learn how to take part in disaster prevention and management as a way of limiting the effects of natural disasters.
According to Philippe Habinshuti, the officer in charge of disaster preparedness in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, the curriculum has already been developed and approved by the Ministry of Education.
32 secondary school teachers from various schools in the Southern Province, Thursday convened in Huye District for two-day training on the new curriculum.
A total of 120 teachers are expected to undergo the training, countrywide, in the first phase.
“We have realised that young people have basic understanding of disaster management. We want to equip them with adequate skills to involve them in the process of disaster prevention and management,” Habinshuti stated. The module will start with students in the upper classes, but according to Habinshuti, the lessons will later be extended to primary schools.
Mediatrice Mukamurenzi, a teacher at Ecole Secondaire de Kigoma in Ruhango District, welcomed the move, noting that it will be beneficial to the community.
“Educating the youth equals to educating the entire society because, after acquiring skills in disaster management, young people will know what to do to, and will suely transfer the knowledge to other community members,” Mukamurenzi observed.
The country is faced with a problem of torrential rains and landslides which often claim lives and destroy property. The districts of Burera, Gatsibo, Karongi, Rulindo, Nyabihu and Rubavu in the Eastern and Western provinces are the most prone, largely due to their hilly topography.
Statistics from the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs indicate that 13 people died between September and November, while 16 sustained injuries due to disasters in various parts of the country.
It also shows that 12 classrooms and 460 houses were destroyed in the process.