Indonesia to teach kids disaster-readiness

Source(s)
Straits Times, the

By Linda Yulisman

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"Given the potential for disasters in the country, it's time to have disaster education as part of the national curriculum," said President Joko Widodo late last month following the tsunami triggered by the sudden eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano. The killer wave claimed more than 400 lives.

Mr Joko's administration believes that training children in disaster preparedness in schools will raise their awareness and equip them with the skills to survive disasters.

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Dr Eko Yulianto, head of the Geo-technology Research Centre at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, said disaster education must focus on forming attitudes derived from direct experience through drills and practices rather than on learning from textbooks. "By experience, students will nurture consciousness that they have a responsibility to protect and save themselves," he said.

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Dr Mizan Bisri, a researcher on the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science-United Nations University programme, believes the introduction of disaster education will have a big impact if it is extended to all schools.

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[Dr Bisri] said to cope with disasters, Indonesia needs to adopt Japan's tsunami tendenko practice - which says that the individual should not stay and help others but run and preserve his or her life instead.

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