School safety

School Curriculum and Disaster Risk Reduction



Impact of disasters on schools

Disasters can have several negative impacts on schools. Not all disasters strike the schools directly and immediately.

Sometimes schools are affected indirectly through students, staff and their families.

Schools can be affected also in short or long term phases. 

They can be categorized as: 


Why teach disaster risk reduction in schools?

Children are especially vulnerable to the threats posed by natural hazards.
At the same time, they can be powerful agents of change, provided they are well armed with knowledge about how to prepare in advance, how to act on warnings and how to reduce at home and in their communities.

In India, there are various different types of school system. Namely- the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), State Education Boards, the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations(CISCE), National Open School, and International School.

According to the latest Government survey there are 1,124,033 schools in India in which about one-thirds of the population goes to studies. With nearly 65% of the land area established being prone to a significant natural hazards and subsequent high population density, it is high time the 35% of the country’s future generation has been prepared to combat future disasters.

Introducing 'disaster awareness' and 'risk reduction education' in the school curriculum would foster better understanding amongst the children and the teachers about the immediate environment in which they and their families live and would help to reduce the risk faced by the community.

Ministry of Human Resource Development (Government of India) has recommended school boards to incorporate Disaster Management in the school curriculum.


Some background

Many regional consultative committee  member countries of Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Maldives, Lao PDR, Nepal, Pakistan, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and some others have either already integrated DRR into the  school curriculum or are in process of completing the integration, or are initiating. This differs from country to country. Sometimes Disaster risk reduction  is integrated as an independent subject. Often DRR is taught within portions and specific chapters of other subjects such as environmental studies, geography, science, etc.


Role of Education in disaster risk reduction

Key Approaches to Disaster Risk Reduction in schools curriculum

Sample case of...
CBSE (central board of education)
, which has integrated a short course on Disaster Management in its curriculum. Around 7300 schools in the country follow CBSE curriculum and almost 900,000 children are enrolled with it. Apart from India, the board has its schools in the Gulf and some neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and
in the Far East African countries. CBSE has integrated disaster management as a frontline curriculum for standard VIII, IX and X.
In classes XI it has disaster education components within sociology and geography subjects.

Outline of the course content

Class VIII : focuses on preparedness measures to be taken by students and teachers for various disasters

Class IX : focuses on mitigation measures

Class X : focuses on the role of government and other agencies in disaster management, role of science and technology in disaster management and initiating the concept of volunteerism among the children.

Class XI : (Sociology) focuses on gender and child rights in disaster management, role of community in disaster management

Class XI : (Geography) focuses on the concept of various hazards

The board strongly believes that educating a child is educating a community

State Education Boards

As recommended by the Government of India Ministry of Home Affairs, various State Governments are in the process of introducing disaster management in the school education. The status of disaster education in various states under the State Education Boards as compiled by the Ministry of Home Affairs is given below:


Non-formal education

In India disaster management training has been included in the defence training of student cadets under various schemes such as NCC (National Cadet  Corps), NSS (National Service Scheme), Scouts and Guides, National Yuva Kendras (NYKs), Civil Defence, Sainik Board etc..


Reference links:

  1. ADPC report on RCC at INEE website <pdf>
  2. CBSE syllabus and content in Std. VIII <pdf>
  3. CBSE syllabus and content in Std. XI <pdf>
  4. NDMA document on CBSE's inclusion of Disaster Management as a subject <pdf>

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