Education in Emergency:

BGS begins its journey with emergency relief and rehabilitation program in the coastal areas (Cox’s Bazar district) people who were severely affected by the devastating cyclone of 29 April 1991; it later subsequently diverted its attention to other development arena, however, BGS continues its respond to natural disaster, preparedness and its management. The district Cox’s Bazar being as a disaster prone areas, almost every year cyclone, tidal surge, tornado affect the region. In the year 1994, 1996, cyclone hit the region and BGS responded with handful emergency relief and recovery support. And various sessions, trainings, orientations were organized on disaster management, information dissemination, recognition of warning signal etc. There are 75 skilled and experience staff members who were directly involved with disaster management (emergency response, recovery, DRR and CCA activities). In addition 90 staff members are working under Livelihoods, WASH, Education and Nutrition projects who have partially involved with DRR interventions. The organization have 10 trained and skilled Trainer/master trainer, hundreds trained volunteers on Emergency response cyclone and flood prone areas..

Natural disasters have a severe and harmful impact on children’s education. As a result of the high frequency of natural disasters; tens of thousands of children lose precious educational hours every year. This loss translates into higher drop-out rates, lower academic achievement and denial of the basic right of education.  The Bangladesh primary education system is one of the largest in the world yet is prepared to meet the challenges presented by the area’s persistent floods and cyclones. School communities have limited awareness of disaster and climate change risks and often lack the capacity to prepare and respond to disasters.

With a view to building a disaster resilient education system in Bangladesh, Education Cluster has taken an initiative namely “Education in Emergency”. In Bangladesh, this cluster is jointly facilitated by UNICEF and Save the Children. The Education Cluster has already leant significant lessons through an 18 months pilot project. One of the major learning of the pilot project was the understanding on gaps of the key members of the education cluster on Education in Emergencies. Under this reality, Education Cluster felt need of a national consultation on education in emergencies and disaster risk reduction in education for sustainable development so that a common understanding can be built among the key cluster members and gaps are identified to address. This consultation also aimed at finding out the way forward for DRR in Education sector and continuation of education in emergencies.

UNESCO came up to support Education Cluster in Bangladesh organizing workshop entitled “National Consultation on Education in Emergencies and Disaster Risk Reduction in Education for Sustainable Development.”On behalf of Education Cluster, Bangla German Sampreeti (BGS), one of the capable members of the cluster took lead in making the consultation happen from 10-12 December,2012 at Proshika HDRC (Human Development and Resource  Center), Manikgonj by involving the key personnel of UN agencies, International, National and local level NGOs, government education departments. Through 17 interactive sessions, the participants shared and learnt different issues related to ‘Education in Emergencies and Disaster Risk Reduction in Education for Sustainable Development. They identified the scopes, opportunities, challenges and measures for DRR in Education and EiE components and finally made a series of recommendations as way forward, in presence of Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MOPME). Last but not least, this national level consultation not only made consensus and common understanding among the participants from different levels, but also developed a strong sense of ownership among the participants regarding the burning issue of having a common ‘Country Framework for DRR in Education (DRRE) and Education in Emergencies (EiE)’.

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