SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – The COVID-19 pandemic has made evident how fragile our different systems are. The school sector has become one of the worst affected sectors all over the world.
From the 15 to 26 March, the regional review on school safety in the context of Systemic Risk: the virtual Caribbean Safe School Initiative (CSSI) Pre-Ministerial forum will assess experiences of the education sector’s COVID-19 response and recovery prior to and during the 2020 hurricane season. It will also discuss the need for coordinating policies and actions for prevention and mitigation to build education sector resilience.
The Pre-Ministerial Forum will also highlight the fact that ensuring school safety is the starting point for reactivating the economy while discussing the fiscal limitations that might impact the region due the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic.
This event, which will set the agenda for the Third CSSI Ministerial Forum to be held in Sint Maarten in 2022, will promote a culture of disaster prevention, resilience and responsible citizenship, generate understanding of disaster risk, support mutual learning and share experiences; and encourage public and private stakeholders to actively engage in such initiatives and to develop new ones at the local, national, regional and global levels, as it is envisioned in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
The forum will host not only meetings between the Ministers of Education of the Caribbean region but also between permanent secretaries, national disaster management offices directors, inter-sectoral partners, educational practitioners and youth organizations. The CSSI is integrated by 18 states and territories of the Caribbean region (CDEMA participating states), overseas territories and CARIFORUM countries, making it an initiative of the wider Caribbean.
The opening session will be attended by Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR, the Executive Director of CDEMA, Honorable Curtis King Ministry of Education of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Hon. Rodolphe E. Samuel Ministry of Education of St Maarten.
The virtual Caribbean Safe School Initiative Pre-Ministerial forum is organized by the Safe School working group of the education sector sub-committee of the Caribbean Disaster management coordination and harmonization council, with leadership of the Government of Sint Maarten and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.