As part of the second version of the 'Safe School' program, launched by Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) for this academic year 2014-2015 under the slogan of 'Safe Behavior, Less Risk, and Effective Response,' the program's team visited the Al-Khor Model Kindergarten for Boys to educate the young students on how to act in case of disasters.
Over a whole day, the school's teachers received a lecture by a QRC medical trainer on the skills of first aid and psychological support during earthquakes. The children received theoretical training in how to evacuate the building once the alarm is activated.
By the end of the day, a simulated evacuation scenario was implemented by all students, teachers, and administrative staff, who assembled at the predefined assembly points, under the supervision of QRC Risk Reduction Team members.
During the day, the students were given copies of the 'Prepared Child' brochure, which was sponsored by Oryx GTL. Representing the company in the ceremony, Mr. Hussein Mohamed Al-Shemari, Public Relations Coordinator, commended the readiness and professionalism of QRC teams in executing this important school program.
"Oryx GTL adopts safety as a top priority, always seeking the highest safety standards among all its staff and their families. By virtue of the ambitious approach, the company has recorded a zero risk rate for three consecutive years, a world-class achievement that only few energy and industrial corporations can make," Mr. Al-Shemari stated.
"Having made this achievement and ensured safety among the staff and their families, we are seriously looking forward to promoting this culture throughout society, particularly among children, as it is easy to instill such principles in them as part of their future personalities," he concluded.
Funded and implemented by QRC in coordination with the managements of the host schools, the program is conducted every Sunday at a different Supreme Education Council (SEC) school, applying an all-day theoretical and practical training scheme with two breaks. In the end of the day, helpful booklets and fliers are distributed and a disaster simulation scenario is practiced to foster the knowledge and skills acquired during the theoretical part.
The purpose of the program is to promote a culture of safe behavior and societal risk management, in order to prevent, reduce, or properly deal with risks, by developing practical experience and skills among youngsters, teaching them general concepts of disaster risk reduction, and letting them practice emergency plans and evacuation rules very seriously as if they were facing a real disaster. This will help produce a whole generation of Qataris who have the highest level of disaster preparedness.
The program syllabus also covers meaningful topics in relation to the safety and security of society members; raises awareness of the importance of environment protection among schoolchildren, teachers, administrative staff, bus supervisors, and even parents (through the students themselves); urges them to adopt safe behavior as a lifestyle; and deepens their sense of responsibility for themselves and for others.
The program employs a progressive strategy that targets Qatar educational institutions to utilize schooling as a way of community education and creation of dynamic and broad-minded personalities, rather than a rigid, backward instructional system limited to theoretical textbooks that spread passiveness and inaction among students.