Caribbean Safe School Ministerial Forum

Posted on Nov 20th 2017


Photo credit: UNISDR

The Caribbean Safe School Ministerial Forum, hosted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Antigua and Barbuda, took place April 3-4 2017 in Antigua and aimed at further advancing school safety in the region. The two-day workshop provided space to present school safety advancement achievements and challenges at the national as well as regional level. During the Forum, the Caribbean Safe School initiative (CSSI) was launched and the Antigua and Barbuda Declaration on School Safety in the Caribbean was endorsed by all attending representatives.  Regional and national school safety priorities were also identified and a Road Map was developed to address these priorities.

The Forum served as the platform to launch the Caribbean Safe School Initiative (CSSI), the suggested framework to advance school safety in the Caribbean.  The CSSI is the Caribbean contribution to the WISS and will be a partnership for advancing safe school implementation at the national level among Caribbean countries. Ministries of Education will lead the implementation supported by international, regional, and national partners.

Ministers and their representatives were given the opportunity to discuss and agree on the Antigua and Barbuda Declaration on School Safety in the Caribbean.  The Forum achieved the Declaration’s endorsement by all attending representatives, namely: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Guyana, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos, Virgin Islands.

The key commitments contained in the Declaration include the following:

Based on acknowledged needs and gaps, priorities were identified which in turn informed the Caribbean Road Map for School Safety.  The regional priorities include:

Enabling Environment

Pillar 1: Safe Learning Facilities

Pillar 2: School Disaster Management

Pillar 3: Risk Reduction and Resilience Education    

The actions required to address these priorities are outlined in the Regional Road Map for School Safety, developed during the Forum. For each priority, representatives identified activities, timeframe, responsible organisation and required technical/financial support.

The Forum was organized in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The organization of the Forum was possible thanks to the financial support by the Austrian Development Agency, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and South Korea.

For more information and the full report, please visit the Caribbean School Safety Ministerial Forum website:  http://eird.org/americas/safe-school-forum/