The Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations, and Sustainable Development has achieved a major milestone in its School Safety Programme. A group of Grade Five students have been designated school safety officers.
Students at the Gordon and Walcott Memorial Methodist Primary School began training in basic safety procedures two years ago. The procedures included hazard analysis, first aid, and fire safety. The training forms part of the Model Safe Schools Programme, an initiative designed to incorporate comprehensive disaster risk management considerations into education sector policies.
Princess Khodra, the school safety coordinator at the Gordon and Walcott Primary School, said:
“They students completed an intense summer camp to complement the training they have received over the last two years. We thought it was such a keen initiative to start at our school and be the trailblazers for what school safety should be. For us, succession was important. Our current officers are in Grade Six and will be leaving school soon. The teachers have identified a group of students in Grade Five who will be installed as school safety trainee officers who will be trained throughout the course of this school year to take over in the third term.”
The Health and Safety Officer with the Department of Education, Bernez Khodra, said the aim is to empower students to practice safety in and out of schools.
“The training will not just serve them at the school. They will practice safety while walking on the street, or at home, or in the community. Safety will be at the forefront of their minds. We are hoping that as we continue this process, our country will become a safer place for everyone.”
District Education Officer Martha Foster, acknowledged the school’s initiative.
“I want to congratulate the Gordon and Walcott Methodist Primary for taking this initiative, receiving the training, and implementing the training—which is important,” she said.
The programme is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and implemented by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).