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Universities to offer courses on disaster management

/ 05:06 AM October 31, 2011

BAGUIO CITY—-Starting next school year, expect colleges and universities to offer courses on climate control and mitigation as part of their curriculum.

School officials and teachers from Central and northern Luzon and the National Capital Region have designed school activities, research programs and teaching modules on disaster-risk management and weather studies in a two-day trainers’ meeting at the Saint Louis University (SLU) here this week.

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They composed the last batch to undergo training aimed at elevating teacher knowledge on the basic concepts and scientific evidence of climate change.

The teachers represented disciplines in forestry, agriculture, nursing, fisheries, engineering and marine biology. Even teachers in charge of the National Service Training Program (NSTP) were asked to design programs that incorporate disaster risk management and rescue courses.

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Agriculture teachers proposed to enhance the farm science curriculum with principles in climate change to develop climate-friendly farming practices.

Marine biology teachers proposed to increase student aptitude in research to develop ways of preserving fish population from extreme weather.

NSTP instructors offered to develop ecowaste management subjects for college students and to increase their participation in tree planting, coastal cleanup exercises, and disaster response training.

The output from the SLU meeting will be consolidated with other proposals in Palawan on Nov. 23 when the Senior Educators’ Congress convenes to polish climate change-oriented curriculum.

The congress participants are mostly university and college presidents and members of the Philippine Association of Tertiary Level Educational Institutions in Environmental and Protection Management, said Dr. Roger Guzman, adviser to the association’s board of directors.

Guzman said the Commission on Higher Education was expected to enforce the curriculum insertions.

The association had been gathering school officials and teachers from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao for training, pursuing a project financed by the United Nations Development Program and the National Economic and Development Authority that intends to “build capacities for climate change adaptation.”

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Teachers are also provided information to help train nurses or engineers understand and employ solutions to disasters triggered by extreme weather patterns.

“We are tapping academic institutions to be proactive,” said Guzman.

“With more schools involved, more communities [will be] benefited,” said a training document.

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TAGS: Climate change control and mitigation, climate change courses, Saint Louis University in Baguio City
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