Gangtok, December 18, 2013
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today announced the introduction of a full subject on Disaster Management as well as Moral Science in school syllabi from the coming session. The Chief Minister was addressing the Orientation Programme on National School Safety Programme here at Chintan Bhawan today.
The Programme, jointly organised by Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority, Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department and Human Resource & Development Department, Government of Sikkim, aimed at sensitizing school authorities on the various safety aspects of disaster management, mitigation and preparedness in schools, and thereby imparting knowledge and understanding among school students for better resilience.
Mr Chamling also assured Governmental support to the establishment of Disaster Management Institute in the State. Challenges such as dearth of intellectual and technical manpower would be duly addressed, he stated. Further, the Chief Minister announced that all schools in the State would henceforth come under the umbrella of School Disaster Management Programme and all efforts would be made to make schools disaster resilient.
Meanwhile, addressing the school authorities and teachers, Mr Chamling called for the need to teach the students the value of time and opportunity. He lamented that students in the State are not capitalizing enough on the numerous opportunities created by the Government, and urged the teachers to mediate.
Later the Chief Minister handed over token of appreciation to 6 schools awarded by British Council for taking progressive measures in disaster management in their respective campus.
The schools awarded were Sir Tashi Namgyal Senior Secondary School, Government Senior Secondary School Singtam, Burtuk Junior High School, Pelling Senior Secondary School, Dentam Senior Secondary School, and Soreng Senior Secondary School.
The Chief Minister also handed token cheques to 8 schools for non structural mitigation measures. The schools were Namchi Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Namthang Senior Secondary School, Mamring Junior High School, Temi Chisopani Junior High School, Enchey Senior Secondary School, Luing Secondary School, Ganchung Junior High School, and Lower Samdong Secondary School. Two schools namely Yangang Secondary School and Aho Secondary School were handed over emergency tools.
Executive Vice Chairman of Sikkim State Disater Management Authority, Professor V.K. Sharma spoke about vision of SSDMA to make Sikkim a model state in terms of Disaster management and resilience. He stated that disaster management measures should first be demonstrated in schools and then percolated into society for larger reach.
He further threw light on the capacity building measures adopted by SSDMA and shared that selected teachers would be sent for trainings annually to other States and abroad.
Professor Sharma also mentioned about the proposed Himalayan Institute of Disaster Management and Climate Change which will come up in Sikkim. He called for cooperation from all concerned departments to make it a model institute.
In his keynote address, Disaster Response Commissioner-cum-Secretary Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department Government of Sikkim Mr K.S. Tobgay expressed the need to make school safety a priority as students spend bulk of their time in schools.
Deputy Secretary, LR&DM Department Mr Prabhakar Rai presented on School Safety under National School Safety Programme.
Mr Ray Kancharia, Vice Chair of ‘Save the Children’ International, and Mr Hari Kumar, Regional Coordinator, Geohazards Society, present as resource persons, highlighted various aspects of school safety through power point presentations.
The programme also comprised of a speech by Student representative Ms Mayalmit Lepcha, a XIth standard student of Deorali Girls’ Senior Secondary School.
The programme had the presence of Speaker Sikkim Legislative Assembly Mr K.T. Gyaltsen, Minister Health Mr D.N. Takarpa, HRDD Minister Mr N.K. Pradhan, Heads of Departments, and Principals and teachers from the schools of East and South Districts of Sikkim.
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