Students of the Colihaut Primary School have embarked on a mission for school safety in their community.
Collaborating with the Traffic Department, students of Grades 3 to 6 painted a pedestrian crossing on the main road adjacent to their school.
Teacher and project coordinator Ms Paulette Panthier told GIS news that the project is one of the initiatives implemented by the school as part of the Model Safe School Programme.
“The school had to implement some projects for safety of the students and also the community. So, we are doing the pedestrian crossing which will facilitate not only the students but the community as a whole.”
In March of 2018, the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) launched the implementation of the Model Safe School Program in Dominica.
The Model Safe School Program (MSSP) is designed to assist Participating States with implementing processes that result in safer and greener educational facilities. Its Toolkit comprises a policy that can be adopted by governments and Ministries of Education, tools for assessing the level of safety and greenness of schools, a template Emergency/Disaster Plan that can be adapted to a school’s specific situation and hazard context, and, finally, a list of tools and guidance documents that can be utilized to create safer and greener institutions.
Ms Panthier who is also the school’s disaster coordinator explained, the pedestrian crossing is the first of a few upcoming projects planned for the school which includes a railing project to be conducted on the school compound.
“We have a bin project where we’ll put bins in the community, a railing project where we’ll put railings on the stairs of the school to make it safer for visitors and students, we also have a street sign to alert motorists that there is a school close by and a food shelter so students will be able to sit and eat under comfortable conditions”
The Model Safe School Programme and Toolkit for the Caribbean was endorsed by the CDEMA Council in 2015 as the vehicle through which the region would address school safety. School safety exists in a broader context of enhancing local, national and regional resilience through the mainstreaming of DRM in the education sector.