Disaster Education in Indonesia: Learning How It Works from Six Years of Experience After Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004
Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Jl. Raden Saleh 43, Jakarta 10330, Indonesia
The most recent disaster events in Indonesia have been a major wakeup call for focusing more attention on disaster education. The task is not easy. The current development conditions, including population growth and environmental degradation increase the level of vulnerabilities of communities at risks (Ronan et al., 2005) against future disasters. As one of the strategies aimed at reducing disaster risks, disaster education interventions were adopted for schools with the hope that it can be an effective catalyst for influencing community preparedness. Many organizations were playing their respective roles in increasing schools’ knowledge and preparedness. Two to four years after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, preparedness assessment was conducted for schools, local community and authorities in at least eight districts/cities in Indonesia. The results were quite surprising: preparedness of schools were almost always the lowest. This paper shares lessons learnt from disaster education interventions in Indonesia in the past six years after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004; some of the designed interventions were a part of the aforementioned preparedness assessment. The aim of this paper is to discuss some approaches and reconsider the effectiveness of integrating disaster risk reduction, not only in the context of Indonesia but also for application around the globe. A shift from awareness raising activities to more process-based activities such as the development of school-based preparedness models, is now occurring and is observable in several schools. Yet, mainstreaming disaster risk management in the school system, as a chosen strategy for reducing risks to schools in potential disaster-prone areas, may not be simple.
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