Viet Nam to Integrate Disaster Prevention Education into the National School Curriculum

Primary school students in Hanoi participated in the disaster education activities, supported by UNDP and the government of Japan. Photo: UNDP Viet Nam

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) signed and launched a five-year programme (2018–2023) to strengthen schools’ preparedness for natural disasters.

“This programme will bring disaster preparedness into our schools. Disaster education helps students, teachers and communities work together and make informed decisions on how to respond to natural disasters, minimize possible damages and, thereby, contribute to the Viet Nam’s economic development,” said Mr. Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

UNDP’s disaster awareness campaign was supported by several Vietnamese celebrities, pop-singers and TV personalities. Photo: UNDP Viet NAm

At the signing ceremony, the Minister of Education and Training, Mr. Phung Xuan Nha showed high appreciation for this initiative on climate change adaptation and disaster prevention targeting younger generations, and especially high school students.

Minister Nha said that the MOET will develop teaching materials that target different regions and ages of students, based on the best research available. The MOET plans to make these documents part of the regular curriculum and extracurricular activities. This will give teachers and students access to the knowledge they need to prepare for climate change and disasters.

Students were involved in many different activities to learn and raise awareness about natural hazards. Photo: UNDP Viet Nam

Exposed by its 3,260-km coastline to 19 types of disasters such as typhoons, floods, coastal erosion and landslides, Viet Nam is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the East-Asia and Pacific region.

Partnering with the Government of Viet Nam for 40 years, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has been supporting the government in its national formulation and implementation of the global development agenda, such as the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction, the Paris Climate Agreement and its commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNDP has also been a key ally in the development of a policy framework including the first law on natural disasters in 2013. It also promoted institutional reforms like the establishment of the first Viet Nam’s Disaster Management Authority (VNDMA), in 2017, and has been strongly involved in building its capacity.

UNDP highly welcomed this initiative. Through the strong partnership, UNDP and VNDMA organized disaster awareness education activities and emergency evacuation drills in Viet Nam in 2017. A campaign named “Schools of Son Tinh” equipped nearly 5,000 students in areas vulnerable for floods and storm surges with skills and knowledge to save their lives. The success of UNDP’s disaster prevention projects lay the foundation for UNDP to provide further support to the government in this five-year programme.

Read more about the regional project “Strengthening Schools Preparedness for Tsunamis” and “Schools of Son Tinh”campaign in Viet Nam.

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Students in Ho Chi Minh City are confident that after the drill they know what to do in times of weather-related emergencies. Photo: UNDP Viet Nam