Comprehensive changes needed in education for earthquake safety in Kathmandu, report shows

NL Today

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Kathmandu: There is a pressing need for extensive changes in education for earthquake safety in Kathmandu, according to a study report.

“Nepal, being geographically prone to high seismic risks along with various other natural disasters, calls for significant modifications in its education policy to mitigate these risks,” the study shows

This conclusion has been drawn by two researchers, George Heteni and Shiba Subedi, from Switzerland’s Lucerne University. The authors highlight that earthquake safety has not been given the priority it deserves, given the varying levels of awareness and economic challenges faced by the population. 

They conducted a study on the ground in various parts of Nepal, examining the current state of earthquake preparedness. Based on their findings, they have proposed several plans to minimize the risk. 

“We need immediate and widespread educational efforts to raise awareness about earthquake safety and to prepare for earthquakes. We have conducted a study on the current state of earthquake education in various schools in Nepal, and we have also put forward proposals for the development of an official education policy for earthquake safety,” the study report states. 

Heteni and Subedi also suggest changes in the availability of educational materials, teacher training, and teaching methods related to earthquake education. Their proposals include the use of local languages, the availability of free educational materials, continuous teacher training in relevant subjects, secure earthquake drills in schools (earthquake quick evacuation drills), and curriculum updates. 

“We have outlined different tasks to be completed at different times and stages for the development of an earthquake education policy. Our study report has been published in the seismic journal ‘Seismica’ in the United States,” they added. The study report emphasizes the crucial role of education in enhancing earthquake safety and recommends swift action to ensure that Nepal is adequately prepared for seismic events.