Safety of schoolchildren during bad weather a top priority

Colombo, May 29 (Daily Mirror) - Keeping schoolchildren safe, especially during bad weather, is a top priority in the country's disaster management programme, State Defence Minister Premitha Bandara Tennakoon said.

During an event on disaster management preparedness yesterday at the Disaster Management Centre (DMC), he said that he had requested officials to update and activate district committees to conduct risk assessments and inform the DMC and it would help in preparing effective contingency plans for emergency situations.

While launching the ‘Surakimu’ programme at the DMC headquarters yesterday, the State Defence Minister said that the safety of all students in the country's 10,126 schools must be ensured. 

He also said that plans are underway to suggest forming special school committees led by principals, with help from past pupils' associations and parent-teacher associations, after consulting with relevant authorities and state agencies.

While addressing the importance of disaster preparedness in schools, he said there are plans to select and train at least two teachers from each school in basic first aid and to make sure schools have well-equipped first aid kits.

Minister Tennakoon explained the progress of the 'Surakimu' programme and suggested ideas to help students at school, especially during emergencies. He also requested for their cooperation  with these plans.

He also mentioned that he hopes to have discussions with different Ministries to figure out how to deal with legal issues that emerge during emergency disaster management.

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