Saint Maarten will host the Third Caribbean Ministerial Forum on School Safety, which was originally scheduled to take place last year but was postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

The main objective of the June 28-30 workshop, according to the UNDRR’s Regional Office – The Americas and the Caribbean, will be to reaffirm the ministry of education’s commitments to work towards safety in schools.

 Saskia Carusi, External Relational Officer at UNDHRR told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) “with the coming of the covid pandemic, it’s more essential than ever because we witnessed how this pandemic affected the education system.”

As of today, 18 nations from the Caribbean, both CDEMA member countries and CARICOM member states, as well as Cuba and the Dominican Republic, have joined the pledge as part of the Caribbean Safe Schools Initiative (CSSI).

The Caribbean CSSI was established in April 2017 during the First Ministerial Forum on School Safety and is intended to assist school safety efforts in the region.

The Caribbean’s contribution to the worldwide Safe Schools Initiative is a collaboration for developing safe school action at the national level among Caribbean nations.

Following up on the Virtual Caribbean Safe School Initiative Pre-Ministerial Forum, which took place online in March 2021, the next meeting will focus on Systemic Risk: The Virtual Caribbean Safe School Initiative Pre-Ministerial Forum.

Carusi stated that the ministerial meeting is part of an effort to enhance the continuity in the Caribbean’s education and disaster management ministries’ relationship, as it is highly vulnerable to a variety of threats.

The roadmap will guide education ministers through the process of signing and implementing a pledge, as well as develop concrete actions before each meeting.

One of the early success stories is that education ministries have established disaster risk reduction programs.

Carusi said that the forum does not address violence in and around schools “since it has certain other criterias.”

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