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Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School: Research in Bangladesh Highlights Education as a Key Success Factor for Building Disaster Ready and Resilient Communities—A Manifesto for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Education

  • Johannes M. LuetzEmail author
  • Nahid Sultana
Chapter
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)

Abstract

In many countries of the world the dream of achieving education, free and compulsory for all, remains elusive for large parts of the population. Bangladesh is a case in point. Drawing on field research conducted in Bangladesh in 2008, 2011 and 2012, including in conjunction with the international development organisation World Vision, this chapter discusses some of the linkages between education, extreme levels of poverty, forced human migration, environmental change, and disaster readiness. The study identifies protracted poverty as the predominant impediment to schooling in Bangladesh. It extends previous research by expressly inviting the participation of respondents in coastal villages in the Bhola and Satkhira districts, as well as in urban slum communities in the country’s two largest cities Dhaka and Chittagong. The findings show that severe poverty forces school age children to work in low-paid jobs as garbage collectors, recyclers, domestic workers, servants, street vendors, hotel boys, burden bearers, couriers, etc., thereby thwarting their education and perpetuating the cycle of poverty. The research recommends a holistic portfolio of educational strategies comprising formal, non-formal and informal learning approaches that are integrated at the community level. Multi-stakeholder strategies seem to be best suited to Bangladesh’s dynamic environmental, geodemographic and socioeconomic context. Disaster risk education offers auspicious benefits for resilience and disaster preparedness.

Keywords

Bangladesh Environmental change Education School absenteeism Disaster preparedness Disaster risk reduction (DRR) Socioeconomic conditions Resilience 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Kirsty Andersen for her copy-editorial support, Balaram Chandra Tapader for his research assistance in Bangladesh, and Syed Abu Shoaib for his constructive comments and for field research support during visits in remote villages of the coastal districts. Grateful acknowledgment for relevant Ph.D. research support is also made to John Merson, Daniel Robinson, Eileen Pittaway, Russell Wise, Richard Rumsey, Geoff Shepherd, and to the international development organisation World Vision. Further, the authors wish to thank the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Centre for Environment and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and its Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT). Finally, the authors wish to thank the people of Bangladesh for generously sharing their stories, struggles, experiences and perspectives.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CHC Higher EducationCarindaleAustralia
  2. 2.University of New South Wales (UNSW)SydneyAustralia

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