The Fiji Times
PCASS project to strengthen school safety program in sub-region
THE Pacific Coalition for the Advancement of School Safety (PCASS) project aims to ensure all schoolchildren in the Pacific are safe from disasters, climate risks and pandemics such as COVID-19, also ensuring Pacific education authorities are implementing school safety.
A statement from PCASS said the program was funded by the New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry and supported by Save the Children New Zealand.
“The PCASS project is a regional coalition of governments and development partners in the Pacific that seeks to strengthen school safety programming in the subregion,” said the statement.
“With work currently underway for project implementation in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, the project’s longterm plan is to strengthen school safety in all Pacific Island nations.
“In the past month, the PCASS project team, which consists of regional lead John Lilo, knowledge management coordinator Kelly Vacala and project officer Alowesi Tucika have been scoping for potential key partners and stakeholders. These consultations included international non-governmental organisations, national disaster management offices, relevant government agencies, educational institutes, UN agencies and the ministries of education.”
PCASS also aims to create a space in the Pacific subregion to discuss strategies and thresh out solutions to concerns related to school safety in the Pacific.
“Overall, the project will contribute to the Pacific countries’ commitments to build a stronger and more resilient region to disasters and climate change.
“The project, which ends in 2025, will also look to establish a Pacific School Safety coordination mechanism, amplifying national initiatives to advance school safety, set up a regional safe schools community of practice and initiate a regional monitoring mechanism for the advancement of school safety in the Pacific.”