Preparing pupils for emergencies

The initiative assists schools to set up emergency preparedness plans and provides basic training on the use of fire extinguishers, among others.

16 July 2019 | Education

Ester Kamati

The disaster risk management school quiz is an initiative driven by the City of Windhoek and was introduced with the aim of ensuring that schools are better prepared for emergencies.

It focuses, among others, on assisting schools to set up emergency preparedness plans and provides basic training on the use of fire extinguishers.

So far the initiative has engaged 118 schools since 2012.

This year’s edition concluded this past Friday.

Schools forming part of the initiative are educated on preparedness and risk-prevention.

Pupils also partake in a quiz based on the information they have learned. “Through a child, you can educate a whole community,” said City of Windhoek chief of emergency and disaster risk management, Raymond Kapia, while explaining why the project was targeted at scholars.

The top three schools each received a fire extinguisher and three reflective vests, and additionally, the winning school was awarded a floating trophy and gold medals, along with prizes that include a first aid kit and backpacks for the participants.

The second-place winners were awarded silver medals and a megaphone, whereas the third-place winners each received bronze medals. All participating scholars were awarded certificates at the end of the programme.

“I think this is very important because it provides a platform for the municipality to reach children while they’re young and can be moulded into future citizens who will care for their environment,” said City junior mayor Grace Mackinza.

She added that sustainable development is attainable through training children on how to respond to hazards within society.

This year, seven primary schools and two secondary schools took in the quiz competition.

In the primary school category, the trophy and gold medals were awarded to Omeya Private School. Aris Grundschule came second and Zanele Beke Primary School finished in third place.

In the secondary school category, the National Institute for Special Education (NISE): Visually impaired were declared the winners. For them to participate in the competition, the study material was converted to braille to enable the scholars to read and familiarise themselves with the content. For the learners from NISE: Hearing Impaired, the quiz was conducted in a crossword puzzle format, which they had to fill in within a given time. They were awarded second place.

According to programme director Paulus Ngolombe, they are thinking of new ways to keep engaging the schools beyond the competition.

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