April 3, 2019
Bangkok, Thailand – On 3-4 April 2019, ASEAN successfully held its 3rd ASEAN Regional Conference on School Safety in Bangkok, Thailand. This biennial regional conference on school safety was implemented under the ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative (ASSI), through the leadership of the ASEAN Cross-Sectoral Coordination Committee for the ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative (ASSI).
A total of 139 stakeholders from all over the ASEAN region participated in the conference, including the representatives from the national education and disaster management agencies in the region, civil society organisations (CSOs) and UN Agencies, donors, academia, teachers, children and youth groups. The conference was hosted by the Government of Thailand and organized by the ASSI consortium partners (Plan International, Save the Children, World Vision, Mercy Malaysia) with support from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Japanese Red Cross, and the Prudence Foundation.
Mr. Cheta Mosikarat, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, the Ministry of Interior, Thailand as the Co-Chair of ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management Working Group on Prevention and Mitigation welcomed all participants and expressed that such a meeting would not only provide a platform to exchange experiences and strategies for DRR in the Education sector but also reaffirm the ASEAN commitment to a continuous and scaled-up implementation of school safety. Following that was the opening speech by the Chair of the Senior Officials’ Meeting on Education (SOM-ED), Dr. Thet Tin Nyunt, Deputy Director-General, the Department of Higher Education, from the Ministry of Education, Myanmar. He emphasized the importance of the ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative (ASSI) since education is one of the first activities suspended in times of disasters and crisis, putting more pressure to the fact that million of children deprived of full primary education. He also reminded all of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 that promotes the protection of human rights of children, youth, persons with disability and vulnerable and marginalized groups including the right to education for the children.
The conference featured different public forums including plenary discussions, thematic sessions, ignite presentations and market place. The two plenary sessions discussed the strengthening of national and regional strategies on school safety, and how all stakeholders could scale up the school safety efforts post-2020 provided emerging risks around school safety in the region. Six thematic sessions were also organized by different groups and sectors (IFRC/Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, the Asia Pacific Coalition on School Safety (APCSS), ASSI consortium, Plan International, Save the Children) to discuss in detail various topics affecting school safety: emerging risks (changing climate, urban risks, resilience), cross-cutting themes (disability inclusion and gender perspectives in school safety), innovation and technology application in school safety, disaster risk governance, good practices, and roles of various stakeholders including private sector, youth and children, CSOs and academes in fostering school safety in ASEAN.
The marketplace provided a space for 10 ASEAN Member States and 3 coalitions/consortiums of civil society organizations (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, APCSS, and ASSI consortium) to showcase sound practices, innovations, publications, information, education and communication materials on school safety in 10 ASEAN Member States and beyond the region. 8 ignite presentations were conducted in the market place to present innovation and technology in school safety, prevention measures, children participation, and games related to school safety and climate change adaptation.
Towards the end of the conference, each ASEAN Member State, ASEAN dialogue partners and ASSI partners were invited to deliver their statement of commitment and supports for the ASSI implementation. Among others, Brunei Darussalam was committed to prioritizing school-based disaster risk management led by their National Disaster Risk Management Centre; the Government of Cambodia remained committed to implementing its disaster management plan led by MOEYS while Indonesia called on Member countries, partners, and stakeholders to further collaboration and partnership in reducing disaster risks through ASSI. Meanwhile, Partners including ECHO Regional Support Office for East, South and Southeast Asia, ASSI consortium, Department of Foreign Affair and Trade/AustraliaAid, IFRC, and APCSS remained committed to supporting the ASEAN Governments in implementing ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative now and beyond 2020.
To conclude the conference, Mr. Onevong Keobounnavong, the Director of the Department of Labor Management, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare as the Co-Chair for the ACDM Working Group on Prevention and Mitigation delivered the conference’s closing remark. He stressed that school infrastructure needs to be strongly built to ensure that critical basic infrastructures served the fulfilment of children’s right to education while also encouraging the ASEAN Governments to engage in partnership and collaboration with other stakeholders in the region.
“Conserving the environment is a must. Saving the environment means saving your own life”
Kuay, a girl student from Thailand, who spoke in one of the thematic sessions at the conference.
Please click on this link for the ASSI Consortium’s joint press release.
Please click on the link below for the conference package: http://bit.ly/Conference_Package
Further information on the Plenary Sessions :
3 April 2019 : Plenary Session 1 – Strengthening Regional and National Strategies on School Safety in ASEAN : http://bit.ly/PlenarySession1
4 April 2019 : Plenary Session 2 – Sustaining School Safety Efforts in Post 2020 ASEAN : http://bit.ly/PlenarySession2
Further information on the thematic sessions :
3 April 2019 :
theme 1 :Building Resilience in Education: Re-examining risks towards an all-hazards and inclusive approach to school safety : http://bit.ly/ThematicSession1
theme 2 : Myanmar School Safety Program (for government schools, monastic schools and temporary learning spaces) and Introduction of the new Myanmar Safe and Child-Friendly School Construction Guidelines : http://bit.ly/ThematicSession2
theme 3 : Minimum Essentials as Indispensable Step towards Comprehensive School Safety Implementation : http://bit.ly/ThematicSession3
theme 4 : Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Innovation on Safe Schools : http://bit.ly/ThematicSession4
4 April 2019 :
theme 5 : Disaster risk governance and comprehensive school safety: best practices and way forward in Asia Pacific : http://bit.ly/ThematicSession5
theme 6 : Working together to scale up our work and create more meaningful impact : http://bit.ly/ThematicSession6
Further information on the ignite presentations:
3 April 2019 : http://bit.ly/IgnitePresentationFiles3April2019
4 April 2019 : http://bit.ly/IgnitePresentationFiles4April2019