School Safety

Schools are one of the most critical institutions of society which host a majority of vulnerable sections of the society every day. The safety of school children has always been of utmost priority for GeoHazards Society (GHS). GHS has been instrumental in creating a comprehensive safe school program in Delhi that has become model for school safety projects nationally. GHS has been working with schools since its inception. Here is a list of a few of our projects.

Working with National Disaster Management Authority:

  • NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) conducts many school safety training. However, it was GHS that trained them on school safety way back in 2009. 
  • We conducted a three-day Training of Trainers in ‘School Disaster Preparedness’ for NDRF in partnership with the National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India. The training was carried out centrally at the NDRF camp at Gandhi Nagar. Representatives from all battalions of NDRF participated in the programme. 
  • GHS worked closely with NDMA in an Inter-Agency Group (IAG) of various agencies to formulate the National School Safety Policy, and assisted in the National School Safety Programme.  

Working with SAARC Disaster Management Authority

  • GeoHazards Society facilitated a three-day Non-Structural risk Mitigation training program for SAARC countries. The training was attended by a group of three members from each SAARC nation where they were briefed about various hazards that can affect these regions and how schools are vulnerable to such hazards. The participants spent quality time in the classroom as well as in the field where they were taken to a nearby government school and identified a number of falling hazards. Following this, the members participated in a mitigation training program where they physically fixed a number of falling hazards in the training institute itself.

Working with State governments: 

Delhi Disaster Management Authority: 

  • In Delhi, GHI and GHS have been working together on a project called the Delhi Earthquake Safety Initiative for Lifeline Buildings’, in which we provide technical support for the assessment and earthquake-resistant retrofitting of five lifeline buildings including the Government Ludlow Castle School in Raj Nivas Marg. Our work at this school included training of all students and staff in basic earthquake preparedness planning, demonstration of methods of preventing falling-hazards (non-structural hazards) in earthquakes, and conducting periodic preparedness drills. 
  • A number of schools participate every year in the 4th April School Safety Preparedness Drill organized by GHS to commemorate the 1905 Kangra Earthquake.
  • Training of Trainers (ToT) in ‘Comprehensive School Disaster Preparedness’ (October 2009) a training programme for school safety advocates for Delhi Disaster Management Authority was conducted and was attended by decision-makers from various Govt. and private schools in Delhi.
  • GHS conducted a series of two to four days Training of Trainers on ‘Comprehensive School Safety’ under the National School Safety Programme (NSSP) for DDMA (East Delhi) for 200 Head of Schools.

Sikkim Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA)

  • Conducted two continuous orientation training programme before the North East Mega Mock drill on 4th & 5th March 2014 organised by SSDMA. 

West Bengal State Disaster Management Authority: 

  • Series of two days ToT on ‘Comprehensive School Safety’ under the National School Safety Programme (NSSP) was organized by West Bengal SDMA at Jalpaiguri on 20th & 21st December 2013, Siliguri on 23rd and 24th Feb 2013 and Cooch Behar on 24th & 25th Sept 2013.  

Tripura State Revenue Department and State Institute of Public Administration & Rural Development (SIPARD)

  • 20 schools non-structural (Falling) hazards risk mitigation conducted under National School Safety Programme (NSSP).
  • 400 schools Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) conducted under NSSP programme. 
  • Two simultaneous 3 days ToT programmes were conducted by GHS resource persons from 10th to 12th July 2013. 
  • A daylong ToT for the school administrators on School Safety was conducted at SIPARD, Agartala on 21st January 2012. The programme was organized by SDMA Tripura.  
  • Training for school administrators and Education department officials on ‘School Disaster Preparedness’ was conducted (Agartala, March 2010) in coordination with the Education Department, Govt. of Tripura and Revenue Department.

Himachal Pradesh

  • One day training programme for the Special Educators engaged in Special Needs Schools in Shimla organized by SSA with support from UNDP India on 15th Nov 2014. 
  • Series of two ToTs on School Safety organised in Kullu and Chamba districts in Sept 2014 in partnership with UNDP India. 
  • A daylong orientation programme on school safety and school preparedness drill was organised on 19th March 2013. 
  • A daylong training programme for the school administrator was organised in partnership with SDMA Himachal Pradesh and SCERT on 20th December 2011.  

Assam State Disaster Management Authority: 

  • Facilitated a non-structural (Falling) hazard risk mitigation project in 20 schools of Guwahati under the NSSP project from 20th to 30th Jan 2014.  
  • Training of school administrators and Education department officials in ‘School Disaster Preparedness’ (Guwahati, July 2009): Training on Comprehensive School Safety in coordination with the Education Department, GoA, and ASDMA.

Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority

  • Training of school administrators and Education department officials in ‘School Disaster Preparedness’ (Bhubaneswar, April 2009) was conducted which was organized by the Education Department, OSDMA

Kerala State Revenue Department

  • Training of school administrators and Education department officials in ‘ Comprehensive School Disaster Preparedness’ (Cochin, November 2010) Training on Comprehensive School Safety in coordination with the Kerala Education Department, KSDMA at Kochi

Uttar Pradesh District Revenue Departments

  • School Disaster Safety Training of Trainers for school administrators in Ghaziabad district under UNDP & Govt of India Urban Disaster Risk Reduction Programme in January 2012. 
  • School Disaster Safety Training of Trainers for school administrators in Kanpur district under UNDP & Govt of India Urban Disaster Risk Reduction Programme in October 2011. 
  • A similar two-day training was organised in association with Meerut DDMA at KK College Meerut in November 2011.

Working with UNDP

Bhutan: 

  • Training conducted at Trashigang Middle Secondary School to develop the school as a model for comprehensive school safety. GHS partnered with GeoHazards International and developed the training module and trained the teachers, staff, and selected students in disaster awareness, Non-structural risk mitigation, school disaster management planning, personal preparedness, etc. and involved the participants in group activities. The training was a joint venture by the Department of Disaster Management, MoHCA, and UNDP. 
  • Training in collaboration with GeoHazards International was conducted in Thimphu to develop a group of trainers in every district of Bhutan to train the school safety advocates throughout the country regarding comprehensive school safety initiatives. We conducted a 4 days training covering all the aspects of school safety involving the participants in group activities to make them leaders of school safety. The training was a joint venture by the Department of Disaster Management, MoHCA, and UNDP. 
  • Training on the Comprehensive School Disaster Preparedness Programme in Muenseling School for the Blind in Bhutan was conducted over a span of three days in 2015.
  • GHS partnered with GeoHazards International and conducted a 3-day training programme in Trashigang and Sandrupjhongkar in Bhutan on Falling Hazards Mitigation. The programme involved 2 days of mitigation demonstration along with training. The programme was attended by more than 70 participants along with the Director of the Disaster Management Department of Bhutan. The programme was highly appreciated by everyone. As a part of the programme, GHS is also preparing a falling hazard mitigation manual for the country which can be adopted by schools across the country to mitigate such kind of hazards. 

School Safety Preparedness Drill: 

  • India: The School Safety Preparedness Drill was initiated by GeoHazards to commemorate the Kangra Earthquake of 1905 which killed over 19,000 people on April 4th, 1905, as it is important to keep the memories of past disasters alive to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Since 2009, GHS has been organising the School Safety Preparedness Drill in various States to get schools in earthquake-prone regions started on their path towards preparedness. Starting with a drill across a few north Indian states in which 10,000 people took part, the number of people taking part grew to 50,893 in the 5th drill and on 4th April 2014 drill, 726,651 people in more than 1100 schools across the country took part in the drill. 
  • Bhutan: Worked with the Department of Disaster Management and Department of Education to facilitate the Annual Bhutan School Preparedness Drill organized on 20th September 2013 where all 553 schools participated in an earthquake drill. The drill couldn’t have been possible without the support of the Embassy of the Czech Republic. 

School Contents Hazards Mitigation and Earthquake Preparedness Training (2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011) 

  • The Project was undertaken to support Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts of the Bechtel Foundation in Gurgaon. GeoHazards conducted Training of Trainers programmes for employee volunteers of Bechtel to enable them to carry out school safety efforts in various Schools in Gurgaon & Delhi, India. The volunteers underwent three-day training in basic disaster awareness, falling hazards assessment and mitigation, development of Preparedness plans for schools, and conduct of Preparedness drills.
  • For the first time in the country, an earthquake risk mitigation project considered aspects of falling hazards mitigation. As a result, GHS assisted by developing the country’s first Non-Structural Risk Mitigation Manual and demonstrated falling hazards mitigation in many school buildings around the country. Manual on falling hazards mitigation in schools developed by GHI & GHS is available for free download.

Working with differently-abled children

 Blind Relief Association Campus

  • GHS and Blind Relief Association (BRA) have been working together to make their campus which includes a school, a college, a technical workshop, and four residential hostels self-reliant and prepared from any kind of disaster. The GHS initiative covers every aspect of the safety of the visually challenged occupants inside the campus from awareness generation about the earthquake hazard actions to proper evacuation from the building.

Action for Autism

  • GHS partnered with Action for Autism (AFA) in New Delhi to make their special education campus (school) prepared to encounter any disastrous event and to make the autistic children safer. We have trained the Teaching staff, Caregivers, and non-teaching staff to help the autistic children to learn preparedness.  

Working with Private Schools

  • GHS has partnered with many private schools across India during the last years to conduct comprehensive school safety activities. Some of the schools are –  Aditya Birla World Academy, Mumbai; Delhi Public School Srinagar; DAV Public School, Chiranjiv Bharti School, American Montessori School in Gurgaon; Modern School, Queen Mary’s School, Happy School in Delhi, etc.
  • GHS did Hazard Vulnerability Risk and Capacity Assessment in three schools (St. Paul’s Diocesan School, Don Bosco School, and Tagore International School, Father Agnel School). The reports of these included structural and non-structural assessment, the preparedness initiative which has already been initiated in these schools and recommendations to ensure the safety of students.
  • GHS conducted a workshop on Disaster Preparedness for the teachers of St. Paul’s Diocesan School in Delhi. 
  • GHS worked closely with DAV Public School, Sector 48, Gurgaon, and has conducted training for teachers and non-teaching staff on disaster management. GHS also demonstrated how to fix falling hazards within the schools and sensitized more than 500 students from class 6th-9th on various hazards and how they can assist the school in being prepared for disasters.

National Bal Bhavan

  • Children and Directors Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction (New Delhi, June 2010)
  • Children ‘s Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction (New Delhi, January 2010)
  • Three workshops for children from all over India and Directors of Bal Bhavan on Disaster Risk Reduction (New Delhi, November 2009)
  • Children’s’ Summer vacation  Assembly Sensitization on DRR (New Delhi, June 2009)
  • Training for Bal Bhavan Directors from all over India (March 2009)

GHS and Save the Children India

  • Save the Children partnered with GHS to prepare its volunteers and help them conduct a school safety programme in the city of Delhi. As a part of the programme, more than 50 teachers and volunteers were trained in the city. The trainings were followed by the development of a disaster management plan. The plan was tested when the school practiced earthquake preparedness drills in two pilot schools.
  • GHS assisted Save the Children by organizing a day-long program on Urban Disasters and Climate Change Resilience which was attended by teachers and various staff members from South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

GHS and World Vision India

  • World Vision India partnered with GHS to prepare school teachers and volunteers on school safety. GHS conducted a number of programmes in various states for the same and trained more than 150 people across the country. Along with this GHS also provided 10 visual aids that the trainers can utilize in their schools to sensitize the other teachers and students. 

GHS and Thales Foundation

  • GHS with support from Thales Foundation worked in Tibetan schools in the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. GHS has conducted a number of school safety programme for Tibetan Children Village schools and many other local schools. To reach out to the Tibetan Population, GHS has hired a Tibetan employee who is able to spread the message of safety to those who are not fluent with Hindi or English. 
  • GHS also developed India’s first school safety mobile application as part of the project wherein any android user can download the application to develop a basic school disaster preparedness plan. The app was officially launched in the National Institute of Disaster Management in Delhi and is available for free on the Google Play Store.

GHS and Pithoragarh District Disaster Management

  • GHS has carried out two-day non-structural training programs with the Pithoragarh District Disaster Management Authority. In this programe, two key representatives from various schools were invited and trained on basic school safety practices with a special focus on Non-Structural Mitigation (NSM) through comprehensive hands-on training sessions.

GHS and University of Delhi

  • GHS has conducted a one day workshop at Kamla Nehru College with the Department of Geography and a similar exercise was carried out at Rajdhani College of the University of Delhi. In this workshop, the participants (mostly students and staff members) were sensitized about various hazards and the workshop also helped students learn about the college disaster preparedness planning.  

GHS and Peteon School in Dharmshala, Himachal Pradesh

  • GeoHazards Society (GHS) has partnered with Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and Social and Resource Development Fund (SARD) to carry out model disaster preparedness planning with a series of activities largely with CTA and its associated institutions, Peteon School, Delek Hospital and the Tibetan community. There were 4 training programs conducted in Peteon School in between 13th – 15th March 2019. Of the four training programs, two were provided to teaching and non-teaching staff members (in two separate batches), one training was delivered to the junior section and one was given to the senior section. For the teachers, the training emphasized on understanding the hazards, steps to a safe school, helped form a school safety committee, and formed various teams with clear roles and responsibilities. 

GHS and Takshila Education Society

  • GHS has partnered with the Takshila Education Society (TES) to carry out a comprehensive school safety program in DPS Coimbatore (October 2018), DPS Pune (May 2019), and DPS Patna (June 2019) and DPS Ludhiana (June 2016) over a period of three years. As a part of this program, week-long training programs with teaching, non-teaching staff members, and students were organized. The school’s staff members were sensitized for various hazards and GHS assisted the school to develop a school disaster preparedness plan. A similar program was organized for students of the schools.
  • GHS conducted a detailed non-structural risk assessment study of all the schools and gave hands-on training to the school staff members on mitigating such hazards. The schools were assisted in developing a school disaster management plan along with school evacuation plans which were then tested in the form of school preparedness (mock) drills.
  • GHS has been supporting TES and the schools by organizing periodic checks and assessments each year to ensure the school remains prepared and the message of safety doesn’t fade away.