Always be prepared is the lesson the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) seems keen to impart to schoolchildren and staff.
In a recent circular sent out to affiliated schools, the Board has provided information on mock drills and workshops conducted by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)—apex body on disaster management in India—along with contact details.
“Disaster can strike any time and specialized help (like a fire brigade or a rescuer team) takes time to arrive,” said BK Khanna, senior specialist (Training and Capacity Development), NDMA.
“The idea is to empower children by improving their first hand response to man-made or natural disasters.”
Currently, 23 schools in the National Capital Region have received this training. And it’s children of Classes V-XII who are attending the workshops.
The mock exercises are conducted in two steps.
The first involves vulnerability assessment of the school (what kind of dangers is it prone to), formation of a disaster management committee and conception of an evacuation plan.
In the second step, a mock drill is conducted with students, teachers and non-teaching staff.
Bal Bharati Public School, Rohini, is among the institutions, which recently contacted the NDMA to hold a workshop after receiving the CBSE circular.
“After the Mumbai attack, I think most schools have become proactive on this front,” said Rekha Sharma, principal, Bal Bharati Public School, Rohini
“Children may not be able to make use of the awareness and training right away, but there is no harm in being better prepared.”