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Overseas Learning and Practice Sharing Disaster Prevention Educators from Cities and Counties Launch Overseas Exchange Programs


In order to continue to deepen the opportunities for international exchanges for our frontline teachers who promote Disaster Risk Reduction Education (DRRE), 29 teachers from public and private elementary and junior high schools, pre-schools, and special education schools, delegated by city and county governments, went to visit the Miyagi Prefecture government, research centers, elementary and junior high schools, and special education schools in Japan from March 17th to 22nd to conduct exchanges, share their experiences and to demonstrate the achievements of Taiwan’s efforts to promote DRRE.
Extreme weather events have led to diverse and complex disaster patterns, and countries and scientists have issued declarations of climate emergencies, stating that immediate action must be taken to curb the state of climate change in order to avoid irreversible damage to the environment. Therefore, in the face of the impact of extreme climate change, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has continued to promote the conceptual change of DRRE by replacing standard answers with judgmental principles, and has established a campus disaster management assessment system as the core framework for promoting disaster prevention campuses. In recent years, the MOE has also deepened the organizational structure of the DRRE counseling groups and their operations in counties and cities by introducing digital disaster prevention technology, early childhood, special education, indigenous people, disaster prevention for young people, and other related issues to enhance the organizational capacity of the DRRE counseling groups of the county and city governments. The MOE said that this important visit was a great opportunity to learn about the organization of the Disaster Prevention Educational Counseling Groups.
The MOE stated that this study trip and experience exchange would  record the results of promoting DRRE in high schools and special education schools, post-earthquake recovery and regional revitalization, as well as the local government’s promotion of implementing policies, and expected that grass-roots teachers who participate in international exchanges can transfer what they have learned and practiced, and then apply and refine this knowledge to further cultivate the DRRE and sustainable development.
This overseas exchange program included a visit to the International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University in Miyagi to explore the current state of international promotion of disaster prevention education. There were also visits to the Okawa Elementary School, the Miyagi 3.11 Tsunami Disaster Memorial Museum, and the Matsushima Shizennoie, all of which are remnants of the Ishinomaki City Earthquake, as well as visiting the Miyagi Prefecture Tagajo High School, the Onagawa High School, and a special education school in Ishinomaki City to learn about efforts to raise students' awareness of disaster prevention through various activities that incorporate a scientific viewpoint, taking into account their experiences with the Great East Japan Earthquake. In addition, the exchange program met with the Miyagi Prefectural Government, the Onagawa Town Board of Education, and Higashi Matsushima City to exchange information on the development of policies and practices for promoting disaster prevention education in the two countries.
The MOE will continue to gather domestic and international experience in disaster prevention, and deepen its partnership with international disaster prevention by establishing a mechanism for mutual visits, organizing seminars, and making video-calls for exchanging experiences on DRRE. Through various proactive actions, the MOE hopes to work with cities and counties governments to enhance the capacity of disaster management in schools, and to improve the knowledge of grassroots teachers about disaster prevention and international perspectives in order to realize the goals of resilient disaster prevention campuses which are rooted in DRRE.