THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
“Knowing how to respond quickly and efficiently in a crisis is critical to ensuring the safety of our schools and students. The midst of a crisis is not the time to start figuring out who ought to do what. At that moment, everyone involved - from top to bottom - should know the drill and know each other.”
~ Margaret Spellings
The safety of schools is important, and School Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (SDRRM) aims at reducing the vulnerability to, and impact of disasters on schools. It prepares both teachers and students for potential disasters, thereby reducing the impact of the said disaster. Families believe that schools keep their children safe during the day. However, the unfortunate reality is that schools in our country or even anywhere in the world may encounter either directly or indirectly a crisis of some kind at any time.
Natural disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, and tornadoes can strike a community with little or no warning. A Covid-19 pandemic, or other infectious diseases, can spread from person to person causing serious illnesses across the country, or around the globe, in a very short time. School shootings, threatened or actual, are extremely rare but are horrific and chilling when they occur. The harrowing events of “September 11” and subsequent anthrax scares have ushered in a new age of terrorism. Communities across the country are struggling to understand and avert acts of terror. These are just some of the disaster risks that school DRRMs (SDRRMs) must face and address with short-, medium- and long-term plans put in place to properly resolve or address them. Implementation of risk-reduction measures and proper management of disasters should be done efficiently.
According to researchers, a prevailing issue in the SDRRMs that hampers the effective and efficient implementation of risk-reduction programs and disaster prevention measures is the lack of capacities of the school personnel and DRRM team to assume DRRM activities and tasks. Among the reasons include limited manpower, lack of technical knowledge and understanding, limited financial resources and lack of technology such as multi hazard early warning systems. Teachers and personnel in the academe must become familiar on how to assist and guide their students in surviving a crisis or disaster so that they can remain physically, mentally, and emotionally safe and sound during a disaster. In an age of the coronavirus pandemic and increased cyber security attacks, organizations should have a "when, not if" mentality regarding crisis management planning and should form a plan as if an incident is bound to happen. It is important to be proactive, rather than reactive (Crocetti, 2020). In view of the foregoing premises, the researcher found interest in determining the preparedness of the SDRRM team in implementing and managing disaster risk prevention and reduction programs.
Background of the Study
The Philippines is prone to getting inflicted by multiple hazards, including thepandemic. The school based DRRMs therefore play a crucial role in minimizing, if not preventing, the adverse consequences and damages caused by disasters and hazards. However, there are limitations on the ability and capacity of SDRRMs to meet the above stated mandate, and this study aimed to address those limitations by finding out their root cause, analyzing the same, and provide recommendations and solutions to eliminate the said limitations in order that SDRRMs can be more effective and efficient in accomplishing their tasks of managing disasters and hazards in their respective schools.
In connection with the above narrated background, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Services (DRRMS) issued the Comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction Management (CDRRM) in Basic Education Framework through DepEd Order 37 series of 2015. In a study of Ronquillo (2020), the Department of Education prompted school authorities to practice disaster preparedness measures in their respective schools. A high level of preparedness can mitigate the effects of disasters in schools, to the teachers, and most especially to the learners. Moreover, disaster risk reduction and management are not only about preventing the damages to properties but primarily about the proper coordination of people to save lives which in turn will result in the prevention of unwelcome intrusion of adverse factors in the provision of education. Active participation in disaster preparedness of teachers, students, parents, and their communities are also encouraged because this is an effective way of raising their awareness about risk reduction.
Based on the news from CNN Philippines (2017), five persons including a pregnant teacher were exposed to mercury after a spill in Manila Science High School last March 23, 2017. Meanwhile, a fire broke out at the records section of Florentino Torres High School at Tondo, Manila last December 20, 2020. (Philippine Star). Likewise, in an article in Manila Bulletin by Seth Cabanban (2021), a fire broke out at Jose P. Laurel High School at Tondo, Manila last October 31,2020. Currently, some of the co- teachers of the researcher together with their families were infected of COVID-19 and some were unable to survive.
In the researcher's point of view, these disasters and crisis can still also happen anytime and anywhere within the public secondary school system of the Division of Manila. Therefore, it is in the light of the foregoing premises that the researcher found interest in determining the level of preparedness of the SDRRM team specifically at the Division of City Schools (DCS) Manila. Moreover, the researcher has been teaching in the Division of Manila for around 15 years already and therefore is familiar with the situation, and prompted the researcher to pursue this study. DCS Manila is also considered as one of the current populated public secondary schools in the Philippines with its students having encountered numerous various challenges economically, socially, emotionally as well asin thefield of public health. The findings of this study may serve as a guide in developing, updating, improving, and enhancing the crisis management plan of school administrators. This may provide data/information in formulating necessary revisions in the crisis management implementationplan to make the school safer in the light of the threatespecially to the most vulnerable sector of the population.
In view of the foregoing premises, the Division of City Schools, Manila is committed to ensuring safe educational continuity amidst the challenges of COVID -19 pandemic. Learning opportunities must be provided to ensure hope and stability among teachers and students, this may contribute to the normalization of activities in the country, and at the same time it may help facilitate the development of our learners' lives. In the provision of learning opportunities, the health and safety of our learners, teaching and non-teaching personnel are of utmost importance and must always be protected.
This study was anchored with the Emergency Management theory discussed below:
Emergency Management Theory
“Emergency Management" is defined as the study of how humans and their institutions interact and cope with hazards, vulnerabilities and resulting events (i.e., emergencies, disasters, catastrophes, and complex humanitarian crises), particularly through activities related to preparedness, response, recovery,and mitigation (Jensen 2013).
According to McEntire (2021), “theoretical work on disasters and emergency management examined planning, improvisation, and spontaneous planning (crisis analysis). Research has also explored humanitarian logistics (capacity building), the use of social media (technology and communication), the scholarship of teaching and learning, cultural competency and the culture of preparedness. Furthermore, more research is needed on how to counter the complexity of disasters and how to utilize the use or impact of technology in emergency management. A greater understanding of public health emergencies is warranted due to the challenges of Covid-19”.
Likewise, McEntire defined “Emergency Management as the managerial function charged with creating the framework within the communities to reduce vulnerability to hazards and cope with disasters”.
Under the Emergency Management Theory there are three variables that the researcher used for this study: (1) Crisis analysis; (2) Use of technology and social media in communication and disaster mitigation; and (3) Capacity building of teaching and non-teaching staff.
The Emergency Management Theory as described above when applied to this research revealed the level of readiness and preparedness of school heads in the Division of Manila in managing emergency and disaster risks in their respective areas, as well as on how these school heads react and respond during actual emergency, calamity, or disaster events.
This research likewise was able to produce findings on whether the school heads have a crisis analysis manual or procedures in addressing and resolving emergency and disaster events, which was founded on the first variable of the research in connection with the Emergency Management Theory.
Also, this research revealed how school heads handled the crucial role that technology and social media in communication played in their decisionmaking and arriving at effective solutions and correct actionsbefore, during, and after the occurrence of an emergency or disaster event. The level of awareness and proper use of technology and social media in addressing communication issues in times of emergency or disaster event also measured and analyzed by this research in accordance with the second variable of the research under the Emergency Management Theory.
Finally, this research foundouthow school heads can further develop and improve their current levels of emergency and disaster risk management and preparedness especially that most emergency management procedures are needed to get updated to properly address and act upon an emergency. The researcher intends to check if the school heads have already made updates on their emergency and disaster risk response procedures and capacities, which was anchored on capacity building. The third variable of this research is focused on its connection tothe Emergency Management Theory.
This study determined the level of preparedness of the SDRRM Team in the implementation of crisis management through the following variables: crisis analysis, use of technology and social media in communication and disaster mitigation and capacity building of teaching and non-teaching staff. Furthermore, the challenges encountered by the school heads in the implementation of crisis management will also be analyzed. The findings of this study will serve as an input for an enhanced crisis management implementation plan.
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Figure 1. Research Paradigm
Statement of the Problem
This study aimedto determine the level ofpreparedness of the SDRRM team in the implementation of crisis management as basis in proposing an enhanced crisis management plan.
Specifically, this study should be able to answer the following questions:
1. What is the level of preparedness of the SDRRM team as assessed by school heads and DRRM coordinators in terms of:
1.1 crisis analysis;
1.2 use of technology and social media in communication and disaster mitigation; and
1.3 capacity building of teachers and non-teaching staff?
2. What are the challenges encountered by the SDRRM team?
3. Based on the findings of the study, what enhanced crisis management plan can be designed?
1. The respondents will answer survey questions and interview with honesty, accuracy,and familiarity.
2. The respondents will share challenges for further improvement on crisis management practices in school.
This study is deemed significant to the following sectors of the society:
School Administrators. May be given an insight that this study is relevant anduseful to the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education as a feedback mechanism to improve crisis management implementation plans in schools. This will provide insights and recommendations useful to the implementing agencies.
Schools. May be benefited in one way or another by the recommendations instituted in this research. Schools were created for one primary purpose - to educate the young minds of our future leaders, and accordingly, all recommendations and developments in this study will be beneficial to all of them.
Teachers. Maybe enlightened from the result of this study based on the findings and recommendations stated in this paper, they would analyze the different approaches they can use on how to handle crises in times of emergency.
Stakeholders. May be benefited in one wayoranotherbecausethrough the resultof this study, they will be provided with trainingand fieldexperience that will equipthemandmake them knowledgeable in responding to emergency situations.
DepEd. May use the findings ofthis studyas a basis in improving and developing policies for DRRM in schools for the benefit of the learners and the community.
Local Government Units. The findings of this study can be used as by LGUS as a guide, to continue helping their constituents in terms of providing additional school facilities and other government projects specifically for safety and continuous improvement.
Future Researchers. May use the findings of this study to further research on similar topics using different locations and populations and including other relevant variables to strengthen school safety.
This paper determined the level of preparedness of SDRRM in terms of crisis analysis, use of technology and social media in communication and disaster mitigation, and capacity building of teaching and non-teaching personnel. It also explored the challenges of school heads in the implementation of crisis management plan.
Sixty-four (64) respondents composing of thirty-two (32) school heads and thirty-two (32) DRRM Coordinator of Public Secondary Schools of District 1 to 6 of the Division of City Schools, Manila were participants for the mixed method analysis.
The study was conducted during the third quarter of the school year 20212022. The findings of this study can be used as the basis for an enhanced crisis management implementation plan.
The research instrument mentioned under Chapter 3 of this study which will be utilized herein can be considered a limiting factor. Other research limitations are the use of the selected platform for data gathering for the study described under Chapter 3 and the availability of the participants in view of the current pandemic situation.
Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined operationally for a better understanding of this study:
Capacity Building. It is the disaster risk reduction and management strategy to reduce risk and vulnerability by creating the necessary institutional, legal, and budgetary capacities.
Crisis analysis. It is the process of identifying the hazards of certain locales, schools,the vulnerabilities of the elements at risk, and the capacities available to reduce and manage disaster risk.
Disaster Preparedness. The knowledge and capacities developed by the governments' professional response and recovery organizations, communities, schools, and individuals to effectively anticipate, respond to, and recover from the impacts of likely, imminent current hazard events or conditions. Preparedness action is carried out within the context of disaster risk reduction and management and aims to build the capacities needed to efficiently manage all types of emergencies and achieve orderly transitions from response to sustain recovery. Preparedness is based on a sound analysis of disaster risk and good linkages with early warning systems and includes such activities as contingency planning, stockpiling of equipment and supplies, the development of arrangements for coordination, evacuation and public information, and associated training and field exercises. These must be supported by formal institutional, legal, and budgetary capacities.
Disaster Risk. The potential disaster losses in lives, health, livelihood, school facilities and services, which could occur to a particular school or a society over some unspecified future time.
Enhanced Crisis Management Implementation Plan. Improved Plan of action to be developed as output of this research study to improve disaster preparedness of any School Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Team to make them well-prepared in responding to disasters.
Level of Preparedness. Degree of pre-disaster actions and measures being undertaken within the context of disaster risk reduction and management and are based on sound risk analysis as well as pre-disaster activities to avert or minimize loss of life and property such as, but not limited to, community organizing, training, planning, equipping, stockpiling, hazard mapping, insuring of assets, public information, and education initiatives.
School Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. A process of disaster risk reduction and management in which at risk communities are actively engaged in the identification, analysis, treatment, monitoring, and evaluation of disaster risks in order to reduce their vulnerabilities and enhance their capacities, and where the people are at the heart of decision-making and implementation of disaster risk reduction and management activities.
School Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Team. A regular committee of the School Continuous Improvement Program.
School heads. In this study, they are the principals of the Junior High School in the Division of Manila who share greatest responsibility for management of school as well as the safety of the students and their subordinates.
Technology and social media in communication and disaster mitigation. A disaster risk reduction and management strategy to raise public awareness, coordination, integration, and information with regards to disaster preparedness.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES
This chapter presents the thematic presentation of the related literature and studies that provide insights to the present study.
Significance of Disaster Preparedness in Schools
This study focused on disaster preparedness in schools. Disaster preparedness in schools leads to: reduced risk of losing property; reduced chances of death; reduced personal injuries; increased institutional resilience to adverse conditions; and minimal interruption of learning in schools. Many secondary schools may be lacking disaster awareness and preparedness and this study aims to establish the need for this important venture.
In the study by Lopez et al, (2018) on the level of compliance with the risk reduction and disaster preparedness program among public secondary schools in Buenavista, Bohol, Philippines. Risk reduction is recognized as vital for building a more equitable future and for reducing the severity of losses during disasters. Effective risk reduction occurs when there is cooperation between sectors of society, and there is an existing disaster preparedness program in place. The primary thrust of this study was to determine the level of compliance with the school risk reduction and disaster preparedness program among the public secondary schools in the District of Buenavista, Bohol, Philippines. It sought to determine compliance in the aspects of safe learning facilities, school disaster management and disaster risk reduction in education. The study employed quantitative method through a survey questionnaire anchored on the instruments developed by the Department of Education (DepEd). The findings revealed that schools had a good compliance level on disaster preparedness. However, some problems were encountered such as inadequate training materials and lack of training among the school disaster risk reduction management teams. Despite these challenges, both teachers and students agreed that the public secondary schools were generally compliant. A need was seen to continue the conduct of disaster preparedness training and seminars as well as budget allocation to finance the publication and dissemination of training materials of the program for distribution to schools.
Furthermore, in the study of Bradshaw et al, (2022) on Planning for a Crisis, but Preparing for Every Day: Schools' Preparedness to respond to a School Safety. This study aimed to identify potential gaps related to crisis preparedness at 98 public secondary schools. Crisis preparedness data collected by trained external assessors captured knowledge of the procedure for responding in a safety-related crisis and process for notifying school staff, as well as the posting of the crisis plan in school locations. Data were analyzed in conjunction with data on student- and staff-reported school climate, school demographics, and external observations of the school. Analyses indicated that the staff was least aware of the process for notifying staff that a crisis was occurring. Middle schools, schools with higher levels of school disorder, and those with poorer reading and math scores were less likely to know the procedure, know the notification process, and have the plans posted in all locations. Schools also need to improve posting of school crisis procedures in shared and open spaces, such as the cafeteria and gymnasium; this is especially critical given that many school shootings occur in these large open spaces. Multilevel analyses indicated that staff perceptions of safety were significantly higher in schools in which the procedure was posted in all locations. Together, these findings provide evidence of a link among crisis planning, school context, and school climate, and complement the need for additional training on what to do following the substantiation of a credible and eminent threat.
In addition, Horca et al, (2020) made a study on the DRRM preparedness of City Schools of Trece Martires, Cavite. This study aimed to determine the preparedness of City Schools of Trece Martires in terms of Disaster Risk Reduction Management. One of the primary concerns of every parent is the safety of their children's stay in school. Typhoons, earthquakes, and fire are common occurring natural disasters that that no one can predict. Typhoons and earthquakes are caused by climate change due to technological advancement and innovation of products. Companies are developing more advanced products that can suit the needs of their consumers without taking into consideration the adverse impact of their activities to the environment. Fire that guts establishments is caused, among others, by electrical short circuit due to electrical overload in the use of appliances and other uncontrollable circumstances. Since disasters occur in unexpected circumstances, the researchers would like to assess the disaster risk management preparedness of their district and used the findings as basis for plans for disaster preparedness. Participants of this study were the selected school heads and DRRM teacher coordinators of the school. The researchers employed descriptive research design and distributed survey questionnaires to the participants. It was found that schools in Trece Martires City are generally ready to respond to the three disasters featured in this study: fire, typhoon and earthquake disaster. It was highly recommended that the DRRM activities be sustained and stakeholders be encouraged to participate in all DRRM activities, in coordination with LGU's and NGO's for further improvement of the program.
A similar study of Ronquillo (2020) aimed to evaluate teachers' preparedness on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Measures among public senior high schools in the Division of Batangas City in terms of community risk assessment, communication system and capacity building with the desired outcome of developing DRRM Guide to sustain preparedness on DRRM to empower teachers to be more competent and to create a more comprehensive DRRM Contingency Plan that the school community needs. The researcher made use of the descriptive method of research which involved collecting of data in order to answer questions concerning the current status of preparedness. A total of 138 public senior high school teachers were the respondents of the study. Based on the result of the study, teachers in senior high schools made sure that they familiarize students with standard procedures, the do's and don'ts during the fire and earthquake drills, encouraged school personnel as well as the students to be consistently prepared even before the disaster occurs. By reasons of convenience and accessibility, this study was limited to all senior high school teachers among public senior high schools in the Division of Batangas City, SY 2018-2019. The study was delimited to Grade 7-10 teachers at junior high schools in the city division level. The study provides a holistic result which is significant in evaluating the preparedness of teachers on DRRM and enhancing schools' DRRM preparedness.
In another study by Bastida et al, (2019), the survey research focused on the level of awareness and preparedness on earthquakes in the Boystown School in Cebu. Earthquake preparedness plays a vital role for the safety of every individual. This study was conducted to investigate the level of awareness and disaster preparedness in case of earthquake in the Sisters of Mary School - Boystown, Inc. This study aimed to express quantitatively the level of awareness among the Sisters of Mary Community as to what extent the students, workers, teachers and sisters learn about disaster preparedness inside the school. This study utilized a 5-point Likert scale earthquake preparedness survey sheet in determining the level of awareness and disaster preparedness of the 350 respondents proportioned as the whole population by stratified random sampling. During the research, the researchers came up with results. The findings signified that the SMS community agrees strongly that they are well prepared for any earthquake occurrences. All in all, the Sisters of Mary community is well- equipped with all the necessary precautions needed when an earthquake happens. The researchers recommended that the Sisters of Mary Community must maintain and improve their earthquake preparedness by having frequent earthquake drills.
Moreover, the study of Balita (2018) discussed about assessing DRR preparedness of BU- CBEM students, teaching and non-teaching personnel. Disasters may be natural or man-made and can occur anytime and anywhere and therefore preparedness and appropriate response should come in handy. It is our utmost concern to protect ourselves, but it is also our responsibility to save the lives of others too. The study was undertaken to assess the current state of preparedness of BUCBEM. The researchers focused on the natural and manmade disasters that the respondents may experience. Random sampling was used in selecting the respondents consisting of 94 teaching and 36 non-teaching personnel. The source of data was taken from respondents with surveyquestionnaire and personal interview. Results of the study revealed that their level of preparedness differs on the type of disaster. Most of the respondents assumed that they are ready, adapted and aware of the hazards that natural disasters can cause. However, the overall findings of the study show some weaknesses that need to be revisited to enhance the knowledge and skills of the respondents for them to be effective in case of disaster. Thus, the study recommends that the involvement of every personnel to training and seminars regarding DRRM should be strengthened. They should familiarize new and updated knowledge and information regarding disaster risk reduction. Teachers should be inducted into training programs conducted or organized by the appropriate authoritative institutions inside and outside the school. Disaster risk perception must be improved among students to have a correct judgment toward the imminent dangers of natural hazards. With the use of the proposed SERC by the researchers, the students will be more involved, skilled and informed in terms of disaster risk reduction. Further research on BUCBEM Disaster risk reduction awareness and preparedness not limited to natural disasters may be conducted in the future.
The study explored by Fernandez, et al. (2019) determined the level of performance and factors affecting the level of performance on emergency drills of secondary students of Cainta Catholic College. The respondents of this study are the 347 students from the Junior and Senior High School departments. The primary purpose of the study was to investigate and propose a comprehensive plan of action to improve the disaster resiliency of the institution. Descriptive- evaluative method of research was utilized in order to describe the current situation and elicit useful feedback or implications for the action plan. The researchers utilized a questionnaire-checklist in order to answer the problems of this study. Specifically, this study will seek to answer the following questions: What is the profile of the respondents in terms of age and gender; what is the level of performance on emergency drills of selected secondary students of Cainta Catholic College with respect to awareness, participation, safety measures, and management strategy; what are the factors affecting the level of performance of selected secondary students on emergency drills in terms of awareness, participation, safety measures, and management strategy; and is there a significant difference between the performance on emergency drills of Cainta Catholic College and the factors affecting the level of performance of the selected secondary students? Based on the problems stated, the researchers came up with the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between the performance one emergency drills of Cainta Catholic College and the factors affecting the level of performance of the selected secondary students. After administering the questionnaire, the researchers used: (a) frequency and percentage to determine the profile of the respondents; (b) weighted mean for the level of performance and factors affecting the level of performance on emergency drills; and (c) ANOVA was used to determine the significant difference on the two variables. The findings of the study indicates that majority of the students that participated in this study are 16-17 years old. It is worthy to note that the researchers were able to collect data from the two genders proportionally. The Management Strategy of Cainta Catholic College has the most efficient performance during emergency drills. This includes the employees, administrators, school disaster management council, and the equipment used during the drills. The awareness of students is the most important factor to be considered to improve the performance of Cainta Catholic College in emergency drills. The null hypothesis was accepted, therefore the performance during emergency drills and the factors affecting the performance has no significant difference.
Furthermore, Hernandez et al, (2021) made a discussion about the level of disaster awareness and preparedness of the students and stakeholders. This study assessed the level of disaster awareness and preparedness of Saint Michael Academy students, teachers, and administrators. The objectives included are to determine the demographic profile of the respondents in terms of sex and grade level or position of the personnel, to determine their disaster awareness and preparedness level in terms of disaster-related knowledge, disaster preparedness and readiness, disaster adaption and disaster awareness. It also tried to find out the level of disaster awareness and preparedness of the students, teachers, and administrators. The research used quantitative and descriptive survey research design to analyze the variables of the study. The respondents of the study are the 276 students, 28 teachers and 3 administrators. This was determined using Slovin's formula and simple random sampling. Data were collected using questionnaires sent through google forms for students and a self-administered questionnaire for the teachers and administrators. The research established that the students, teachers, and administrators of Saint Michael Academy are aware and prepared in times of disasters. However, the institution needs to educate the students and personnel on disaster practices in order to avoid or lessen damages that the disaster may cause. The studies suggested that hardwire Disaster Risk Reduction should be utilized not only to Senior High STEM students but also to all grade levels.