Ranchi, Dec. 26: The state disaster management department is gearing up to introduce special lessons stressing on dos and don’ts during emergencies for school students across the state.
Officials of the department, which has already drawn up a draft plan, said they were planning to start special modules that would cover various kinds of natural and manmade disasters and its impact on children. The disaster management lessons are likely to be introduced in classes from the next academic session.
Sources said soft copies of the draft had already been sent to the state human resources development department for approval last week. The modules, they claimed, would be introduced either as additions to government circulated textbooks or as special manuals that would be part of the annual school curriculum.
The modules devised by the department will be divided into 12 chapters each highlighting various types of disasters on or outside the school campus. The chapters will provide students with tips on safe ambience in schools, effective fire fighting systems, mock drills, history of disasters in India, importance of building laws, among other things.
Disaster management secretary M.N. Kerketta today told The Telegraph the officials had made the plan in association with the United Nation Development Programme and social organisations.
“Disasters can strike anyone. Schoolchildren are the most prone to disasters, right from the time they venture out of their homes. So it is very important that we catch them young and teach them so that once they grow up, they start making a difference in society,” Kerketta said.
Jharkhand, the secretary said, had seen its fair share of disasters involving students.
In February, 11 students of a Kanke-based missionary school were injured when the bus they were travelling in turned turtle en route to Patratu.
Three years ago, six students of a Godda-based government school were injured when the roof of one of their classrooms collapsed during Republic Day celebrations.
“There are other cases that had not been reported at all. So it is better to be safe than sorry. We will equip the students with knowledge to stay calm in crisis. Preventive measures are the only way to minimise damage,” Kerketta said.
“Every school needs to have its own disaster management plans in place. We hope the module will help schools in drawing up such plans. Students will be encouraged to speak up and ask school authorities what steps they had taken to make them safe,” a senior HRD official said.
If the plan does not work, the modules will be introduced independently at schools.