SXM School Safety Roadmap to be Updated. | SMN NEWS

roadsafety30012023PHILIPSBURG:--- The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) is tasked with advancing school safety actions and the Safety and Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) of MECYS is updating the St. Maarten School Safety Roadmap with technical support from UNICEF the Netherlands. During working sessions, school safety stakeholders identified the priorities for school safety resulting in new activities covering the period from 2023 until 2025.

“School safety is not just about buildings, it is also about people, planning, drills, information sharing, resource mobilization, support etc. We at SSSD are proud to coordinate and monitor school safety initiatives on behalf of MECYS and have made many strides since we began actively working on school safety in 2018. We are grateful to all those who continue to contribute including School Boards and entities such as the Fire Department, VSA, and the SEMC to name a few. I want to especially recognize the Safety and Emergency Teams of schools, whose dedication and enthusiasm have been instrumental in the successes achieved,” Olga Mussington-Service, Head of the Student Support Services Division.

In 2018 the Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture, and Sport (MECYS), with support from UNICEF in the Netherlands, engaged in a consultation process with education and non-education stakeholders to identify priority actions to be undertaken over the following years to advance school safety in the country. The process concluded in 2019 with the achievement of the School Safety Roadmap, detailing 19 targets and 47 associated activities, structured under the pillars of the Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF)

The CSSF provides strategic guidance to duty bearers and their partners to promote safe, equitable, and continuous access to quality education for all. The CSSF takes an “all-hazards, all-risks” approach, including natural and climate-change-induced hazards, technological hazards, biological and health hazards, conflict and violence, and everyday dangers and threats. The CSSF is aligned with the SDGS and other relevant global frameworks for child rights and child protection.

The SEMC is working towards Comprehensive School Safety. “The goals of comprehensive school safety are to take a participatory risk-informed approach to: 1. Protect learners, educators, and staff from death, injury, violence, and harm in schools and other learning spaces. 2. Plan for education and protection continuity, and limit disruptions to learning in the face of shocks, stresses, hazards, and threats of all kinds. 3. Promote knowledge and skills of learners and duty-bearers, to contribute to risk reduction, resilience building, and sustainable development,” Mussington-Service stated.
Stakeholders attending the working session to update the School Safety Roadmap included: Schools Safety and Emergency Teams, School Boards, The Police Department, The Fire Department, UNESCO, The St Maarten Red Cross, and representatives from the Ministries of MECYS, VSA, and VROMI.
This activity is part of the Child Resilience and Protection Project (CRPP) executed by UNICEF the Netherlands in collaboration with the Government of Sint Maarten, financed by the Government of the Netherlands through the Sint Maarten Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund, administered by the World Bank.

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