During the first part of the meeting a presentation was given by the Secretary General of the Ministry ECYS, Ms. Jorien Wuite. The first part of the presentation focused on the strategy, with key international recognized elements as: resilience, protection, participation, preparedness, ICT and communication. Resilience, as the capacity of children, teachers, families and communities to anticipate and recover from shocks and threats such as hurricane IRMA. The need to protect students’, teachers’ and children’s psychosocial well-being, the protection of artifacts, education- culture- and sports facilities. The importance of community participation and partnerships, and the need for collection and sharing of information (ICT) and communication to the public, to ensure preparedness and response systems such as safe school plans and education, culture, youth and sport facilities disaster management plans.
The second part of the presentation focused on the prioritization of the Ministry ECYS Midterm Resilience Plan within an early, mid- and long-term recovery phase. Stakeholders were asked to use the key strategic elements and whether the priorities that focused on prioritization within an early, mid- and long-term recovery phase. Stakeholders were asked whether the priorities that were summarized, based on the preliminary consultations, were accurate and covered projected expectations for urgent improvements before the next hurricane season and June 2019. In addition, the scope of impact and damages post-Irma and the current state and progress of Ministry ECYS were discussed.
In the second half of the meeting, stakeholders were strategically grouped in break-out sessions to discuss and further sharpen critical priorities, and the level of urgency for rebuilding within the next three to twelve months. The groups were given 45 minutes to propose critical issues such as:
- Leadership, coordination and communication
- Immediate needs (early recovery < 3m)
- Recovery and resilience (Mid-term recovery)
- Rehabilitation and construction (long-term recovery > 12 m)
- Finance and accountability
At the end of the break-out session, consensus was met to build more flexible and resilient school infrastructures and facilities, utilize existing local (retired) expertise, establish disaster preparedness and response (training) plans that will embody the physical, social and psychological well-being of students and staff within the education, youth and sport realm. Stakeholders also expressed the need for continued partnerships and a recruitment program for (local) teachers. Key suggestions to promote safety and security was brought forward to help the community, recognize, register and salvage cultural heritage, protect children and parents,
The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport expressed her excitement and appreciation and gave heartfelt thanks to all stakeholders and Ministry ECYS’ staff for the feedback and responses received. A follow up meeting will be organized once the Midterm Resilience Plan advances to a final version that Minister Jacobs will present and discuss with the workgroup for inclusions to the National Recovery Plan.