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New realization of disaster risk reduction education in the context of a global pandemic: Lessons from Japan
This article, discusses how the global COVID-19 pandemic has challenged different development sectors, including education. In this article, two main analyses are provided: one on the biological hazards of the pandemic in the context of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015−2030, which analyzes the overall impacts on the education sector.
Then it discusses the overall impact on education sectors, with specific focus on disaster risk reduction (DRR) education and education for sustainable development (ESD). Disaster risk reduction education and ESD are analyzed from the perspective of school-community-family linkages. Specific case analysis of COVID-19 response in the education sector is presented from Omuta City, Japan, which is considered as a champion city for ESD. Four phases of response in Omuta City are characterized with three specific foci: (1) mitigating covid impacts on educational program and participants; (2) preventing exacerbation of covid transmission within and outside schools; and (3) maintaining educational program integrity despite COVID-19.
Key lessons are summarized in the concluding section, which explore the importance of (1) educational governance (on critical decision making) during the pandemic as well as with cascading risks; (2) enhancement of school-community-family linkages as pandemic response commonalities between ESD and DRR education; (3) risk communication and citizen behavior; and (4) use of technology. The article argues that integration of health and DRR education is important, that resilience needs to be redefined in terms of sustainable development goals (SDGs), and that education plays a vital role in achieving these ends.