School safety must address the social and community environment of students, according to Minerd

The Minister of Education, Ángel Hernández, affirmed that in order to guarantee effective school security, it must include in its approach the social and community environment of the children and adolescents who attend the educational center, as well as the eventual risks due to natural phenomena.

When proposing a comprehensive approach to school safety, Minister Hernández maintained that the different aspects that move in relation to said concept should be included, starting at home, observing what happens in them and violence in society, since It impacts in one way or another the educational centers and the children in particular.

“The fundamental interest of this forum is focused on environmental phenomena that directly affect educational centers, which warrants comprehensive action in pursuit of a broad vision of the environmental phenomenon and how it affects the safety of children, and above all, the guarantee that they can attend schools in optimal conditions”, explained Minister Hernández.

In this regard, he raised the need to implement a roadmap that allows focusing concrete and clear policies on what to do in the future in relation to environmental issues and that are incorporated into security not derived from environmental phenomena, but from social ones, Without a doubt, they are the ones that most frequently impact the safety of children and adolescents in educational centers.

Ángel Hernández expressed himself in this way during the opening ceremony of the Second Forum of Safe Schools of the SICA Region (Central American Integration System), which this year has the Dominican Republic as the host country due to its status as Pro Tempore president of the organization, and which Its purpose is to identify gaps and opportunities for policies, strategies, and plans to reduce risks and increase the resilience of the educational community.

The summit, which is being held from Tuesday 22 to Wednesday 24 under the coordination of the Ministry of Education of the Dominican Republic (MINERD), the Central American Educational and Cultural Coordination (CECC), the Regional Education Group for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Disasters in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CEPREDENAC), brings together the region’s education ministers, civil protection agencies, risk management, national and international organizations that work in the education sector.

In a similar sense, Roberto Suárez, executive secretary of CECC-SICA, expressed himself, who said that it is a fundamental task to guarantee that the entire school environment is a benchmark in which the physical and socio-emotional well-being of children, youth and adults provide greater confidence and allows them to feel in a safe and conducive environment to carry out their learning tasks.

Suárez pointed out that given the vulnerability of the Region it is necessary to take urgent actions, since recent history shows that many schools have been affected after a natural disaster, so the joint and continuous work of all the actors of society can contribute to the impact of disasters.

“We have to get more and more involved, so that we can play a good role in order to achieve the objectives of reducing disaster risks, which must also include knowledge and school activities on this subject,” said Suárez.

On the other hand, Saskia Carusi, representative of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and representative of UNICEF, urged working towards school safety and taking actions to develop it, so that they give a guide from which Disaster risks can be gradually reduced and new risks can be avoided in order to reduce existing ones, as well as strengthen resilience.

He affirmed that the tools and the approach in the comprehensive framework of school safety must be relevant to guide children on the issue of well-being in these spaces. He added that it is important to highlight that these actions are a joint effort between the Ministry of Education and risk reduction and comprehensive risk management entities, and in this case the Civil Defense of the Dominican Republic.

Likewise, Claudia Herrera, executive secretary of the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America, highlighted the strategic impulse developed by the President of the Republic, Luis Abinader, within the framework of the Pro Tempore presidency of the Integration System Central America and Minister Ángel Hernández, who has promoted strategic actions for safety in schools.

“Our Region is increasingly exposed to weather events, solely because of our geographic location, which has a negative impact on our development processes, so taking this type of joint action strengthens compliance with the Regional Strategic Agenda, which is raises from the Central American Integration System”, said Suárez.

He affirmed that the central objective of the policy of the entity to which he belongs, establishes bequeathing to future generations a safe and resilient territory, therefore defining a roadmap and a joint declaration in which he ratifies that commitment and that urgent action to achieve the development objectives that governments have set themselves.

School safety must address the social and community environment of students, according to Minerd