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Education for Natural Disaster Preparedness and Its Implementation Mechanism in Nepal

Education for Natural Disaster Preparedness and Its Implementation Mechanism in Nepal

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Education for Natural Disaster Preparedness and Its Implementation Mechanism in Nepal
Education for Natural Disaster Preparedness and Its Implementation Mechanism in Nepal

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Published by: Teachers Without Borders on Jul 23, 2013
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Education for Natural Disaster Preparedness and itsImplementation Mechanism in Nepal
Curriculum for Sustainable Development 
By: Hridaya Ratna Bajracharya
CERID, May 2006
 Executive Summary
 Nepal is a mountainous country. It is a part of important mountain ranges in the regionincluding the Himalayas. These mountains are part of the monsoon rain system that feedsthe river and water system in the South Asia. Every year however there are flood and landslide in the country causing lots of disasters -- damage to habitats and deaths of  people. Also, Nepal lies in high seismic zone of the earth plates. Earthquake is one of themajor disasters in the country and the region as a whole. Nepal lies in a subtropical zone.It has lots of forests. Lots of people depend on forest for livelihood as well as habitat.Every year, there is dry and hot season. Fire hazards bring lots of disaster. Epidemics dueto seasonal development of the harmful virus and bacteria and their expansion causedisasters in Nepal every year. Storm and hailstorm also bring regular disasters in thecountry. Heat wave and cold wave are other disaster types.The problems of natural disasters are recognised by the concerned agencies. The currentschool curriculum has included sections on natural disasters. These sections are integrated in the traditional subject areas such as science, geography, and environment. However these sections do not address the need to prepare students for in the event of the disasters.There is no educational program for natural disaster preparedness. Besides, there is a lack of teacher preparation, infrastructure and professional support to undertaken the courseseffectively in a practical way and relevant to the various recurring disasters in the country.The past experiences show that bringing substantial change in the schools in a way toachieve contextual relevance is hard to achieve. For this, there is a need for moreeffective and persistent efforts. Teacher preparation is most important in this regard, preparation/orientation of other concerned is equally important. Awareness program and orientation program for all would be important initial strategy to prepare people.Involving community in drill, interaction and panel discussion on regular basis would beimportant process to keep people concerned and connected. Co-ordination of informationand collaboration at different levels – national and international would be important for generating support.
 Key Words
 Natural hazards, earthquake, flood, landslide, epidemics, heat wave and cold wave, fire,forest fire, curriculum, curriculum practice, community learning, teacher training,instructional materials, co-curricular activities, curriculum issues, professional support,supervision, resource centre, resource person, school exhibition.
epal is a landlocked country, which borders China in the North and India in the East,South and West. Approximately, it has an area of 147,181 sq. km. Geographically, itconsists of three layers of distinct zones: 1) the Himalayas, the high mountain range withsnow-covered peaks 2) the mid-hill region with lush green hills and valleys, and 3) Terai,a narrow strip of fertile plains. All these geographic belts of Nepal run from east to west.According to the census of 2001 Nepal has a population of 23151423. Nepal lies at the boundary between the Eurasian landmass and the peninsular India. Thecollision between the two tectonic plates is the reason behind the rise of mountain rangesin Nepal including the Himalayas. Obviously this boundary zone between the two platesis also a zone of high seismic activities. Earthquake is frequent phenomena in Nepal,almost a regular feature.Because of the high mountain ranges, Nepal is a very important part of the monsoon rainsystem. The dry and hot season during May, June and July causes water bearing monsoonclouds and northerly winds from the Indian Ocean which is stopped at the high mountainsranges running across Nepal and North India. This causes heavy monsoon along themountain zone. The rain on the mountain slopes feeds numerous streams, rivers and drains system, all flowing down south back to the Indian Ocean. This is an importantcause of regular landslide and flash flood in the mountains and valleys and flood in the plains. Nepal has almost six seasons: Vashant (March/April)), Grishma(May-June), Barsha (July-August), Hemanta (September-October), Sharad (November-December) and Sishir (Janaury-February). The seasonal changes are often marked with microbial activities withimplications on health. One during hot and rainy seasons bring tremendous implications because of the rain and flood helping to spread the disease causing water-borne microbes.Mosquitoes and other biological vectors also cause the spread of diseases. Every year  Nepal faces epidemic of diarrhoea, dysentery, encephalitis etc.Dry season is real dry and hot and is prone for break out of fire in the forests. Fire alsofrequently break out in the villages, particularly among the wooden houses and thatched roof. The seasonal changes also bring geographical phenomena like hail storm, heat wave,cold wave, etc. Such hailstorms cause damages to people, animals and properties almostevery year.Despite the regular features of most of the natural phenomena, the spontaneity in terms of their disastrous strikes and lack of proper education as well as resources there is little preparation to meet the disasters. Recently, since the last decade, efforts have been madeto include topics on natural disasters. The topics are developed in the regular subjects likegeography, science and environment. Challenges however remain regarding how todeliver the courses in a practical and meaningful way. Also there is still a need to developeducation to prepare people to cope with the disaster situation, not just know about thedifferent natural disasters. The following sections describe the framework and guidelinesregarding how that challenges could be taken.
The natural disasters faced by Nepal are mainly the following: Flashflood, flood, landslideforest fire, and fire on thatched wooden houses in the village. Seasonal epidemic isanother natural disaster. The most important and hazardous disaster is the earthquakes, itis at the earthquake zone. There is no education to prepare for natural disasters.
Since 1954 the basic policy focus regarding education in Nepal has remained the same:Universalised access to quality basic and primary education, scientific, technical and work oriented secondary level education, and academically competent and economicdevelopment oriented tertiary education. Medium and long-term goals and targets of developments, including the goals and targets of educational development, are reflected inthe National Development Plans, which cover mostly a period of five years. In the currenttenth plan the important areas focussed include:
 Human resources development,
in view of the situation that a large number of  populations are illiterate and unskilled.
Sustainable development, poverty alleviation and reduction of regionaldisparities
in view of the existing subsistence agriculture based economy, lack of alternatives, and disparities among different region and communities.
 Enhancing gender and social equity
regarding access to quality basic education
 Enhancement of the quality of education
in view of the still underdeveloped educational provisions at all levels particularly at the primary and secondarylevel.
 Developing literacy education for adults
functional to poverty alleviation
 Higher education in the areas of applied science and technology.
 Meeting the appropriate learning and life skills needs of all young people and adults
to enable them socially and economically.The national policies and the plans are implemented through a system of schools, higher education institutions and the universities as well as nonformal education classes. Thefollowing is a brief description of the institutional arrangements.
Education structure and institutional arrangements
The structure of educational provisions in Nepal basically consists of the followingarrangements:
Normal Agein YearsBelow 6 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22EducationLevel
Pre-primary/ ECD Primary Lower Secondary Secondary Higher Sec.Higher Education (University)
Source: Ministry of Education (2000).Pre-primary:
The concepts and practices regarding Early Childhood Development and Pre-primary education are emerging as important developments, but they are still not partof the formal national education structure. Children are not given any orientation or  preparation for natural disaster.

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