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Southeast Asia is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world. More than 50 percent of the global disaster mortalities took place in ASEAN from 2004 to 2014 with about 354,000 fatalities. During the same period, about 191 million people were temporarily displaced, and another 193 million people were affected or experienced different types of losses due to disasters.

The education sector is highly affected by disasters and other risks owing to a large amount of time the children and teachers spend in schools. There have been many instances when children or teaching staff lost their lives or got injured in schools during disasters. Recent disasters in the ASEAN region damaged school facilities, especially those with poor building design, non-engineered construction, or site selection, which prevented students from accessing schools. Children’s education is also disrupted when schools are used as temporary shelters or evacuation areas for those affected by disasters. Major setbacks on development investments in the education sector are also experienced during disasters especially when risk reduction policies are not adequately prioritised.

Recognising the impacts of disasters on children and education sector, ASEAN has established the ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative (ASSI) which promotes a comprehensive integration of risk reduction in the Education Sector. This initiative is a priority of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2016-2020 (Priority Programme #2: Building Safe ASEAN Infrastructures and Essential Service) and the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020 (Priority Area 5.2: Promoting inclusion of disaster risk reduction in national curriculum through support to relevant sectors’ initiatives).

To support the ASSI goals and Programme Strategy, ASSI, with the leadership of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and Seniors Official Meeting on Education (SOM-ED), conducts a biennial regional conference as a venue for advocacy, discussion, and learning exchange among stakeholders on DRR in Education and School Safety in ASEAN. The first ASEAN Regional Conference on School Safety, held in December 2015 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia saw the formal launch of the ASEAN Common Framework 1 ASEAN Vision 2025 on Disaster Management (2016). Retrieved from https://www.asean.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/fa220416_DM2025_email.pdf. for Comprehensive School Safety2 and other regional tools supporting the implementation of school disaster management in the region. The second ASEAN Regional Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand in February 2017, gathered the re-affirmation of ASEAN countries and other partners and stakeholders’ to continue their school safety efforts in alignment with the country commitments to contribute in accomplishing the newly adopted AADMER Work Programme 2016-2020 and the ASEAN Regional Work Plan on Education 2016-2020 as well as the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 targets and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

This year, as we are heading towards the end of the ASEAN Programme Strategy 2017-2020, the 3 rd ASEAN Regional Conference on School Safety will be focusing on the assessment of the region’s progress in school safety work and in shaping the discussions toward outlining the ASEAN regional perspectives, approaches, and strategies on school safety post- AADMER Work Programme 2016-2020 and ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020.

Conference documents

To participate, please fill in the forms below and submit to renar.berandi@plan-international.org.

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