45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction_0 (2015) - Page 5

SECTION I: INTRODUCTION Safer school buildings have been planned, designed, constructed and maintained to be, at a minimum, resistant to known hazards such that they protect students and other occupants during extreme hazard events. No building can be considered ‘safe’ in an absolute sense. Rather, safety is based upon anticipated hazards and available safer construction techniques. As knowledge in these areas changes, schools that were once thought to be safe may become understood as unsafe. Safety also depends upon how a school will be used. At minimum, schools should be ‘life safe’ in anticipated hazards – the structure should retain some margin of safety against collapse and non-structural elements should not cause injury or death. However, these buildings may be heavily damaged. Even schools considered ‘life safe’ may need substantial repair before it can be reoccupied. Where schools will be used as shelter during emergencies and disasters, a safe school should not sustain heavy damage. A safe school used as shelter should be able to be occupied during and immediately after anticipa ted hazards. School construction includes the building of new classrooms, school blocks, passageways, latrines, kitchens, grounds, laboratories and fencing. It also includes the projects that retrofit existing schools (also sometimes called renovation, remodelling, refurbishing, modernising or strengthening). Vulnerability is the characteristics and circumstances of a community, system or school that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard. A school building may be vulnerable to a natural hazard if it experiences infrastructure damages that harm students and other occupants or that degrade its ability to function as a school. Acronyms CSS Comprehensive School Safety EFA Education for All GFDRR Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery HFA Hyogo Framework for Action INEE International Network for Education in Emergencies MoE Ministry of Education MoPW Ministry of Public Works NGO Non-government organisation, including international and national organisations UNISDR United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction IV