r Ministry of Defence - Sri Lanka

‘Ensuring the safety of school children a top priority
- State Minister of Defence Tennakoon

May 28, 2024

Safeguarding the safety of school children through ensuring a safe school environment especially during prevalent weather related emergency situations is a top priority in our disaster management programe said State Minister of Defence Hon. Premitha Bandara Tennakoon at a media discussion held at the Disaster Management Centre in Colombo today (May 28).

Meeting media representative after discussions with senior state officials including District and Divisional Secretaries, Education Ministry authorities Environment Ministry officials and INGO representatives on separate occasions regarding disaster management preparedness he said that he had requested these officials to update and activate district committees to make risk assessments and appraise the Disaster Management Centre in order for them to prepare contingency plans to face emergency situations effectively.

Stressing the importance of the ‘Surakimu’ programme he said that the safety of all students in the 10126 school in the country should be ensured and that in consultation with relevant authorities and line state agencies, he intends to propose Special School Committees to be formed under respective Principals with the active participation of past pupils associations and parent teachers association for this purpose.

Emphasizing the importance of disaster preparedness at the school level he said that plans are afoot to select and train at least two teachers from each school in basic first aid and also ensure the availability of properly equipped first aid kits in schools.

During the earlier discussion with INGO representatives Minister Tennakoon spelt out the progress of active programmes including the Surakimu programme and proposed plans intended to benefit the school student population, especially during emergency situations and also requested their assistance in this regard.

Minister Tennakoon also said that he hopes to have consultations with several ministries to find solutions to overcome certain legal barriers faced during emergency disaster management activities.

Heads of the Disaster Management Centre and National Building Research Organization and several senior state officials were also present at the occasion.