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Disaster Education Programme for Primary School Students through Education Theatre

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Disaster Education Programme for Primary School Students through Education Theatre

 

Children between the ages of 0-8 represent the highest percentage of affected populations in today’s global emergencies (UNICEF, 2007). The leading organisations in promoting disaster risk reduction globally have been promoting the integration of children education as one of the disaster risk reduction strategies. The UNICEF recommends that disaster education for children can be planned in homes, health services, early childhood development, kindergartens, preschools and infant homes/orphanages. 

 

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute (HKJCDPRI) has been promoting a community approach in disaster risk reduction with efforts from every player in the community including schools and children. In 2019, we launched the pilot programme on use of Education Theatre for Disaster Education for Primary Schools. Targeting junior primary grade students in the pilot programme, an interactive drama titled “防災小將 Get Ready!” was designed and performed in 10 schools in the half-year's pilot programme, reaching over 2,200 students.

 

 

Success of the Half-year Pilot Programme 

Our first education theatre disaster education for primary schools students, “防災小將 Get Ready!", featured a smart boy, Mr Ready, who always gets himself well prepared in case of any emergency. The drama conducted in Cantonese had two stories, flash floods during a picnic and school bus accident, intertwined with each other. Such education theatre-based learning would allow children, regardless of their grades and learning abilities, to associate the importance of disaster preparedness to their daily lives, while inspiring them to think of their roles to protect themselves and their loved ones! The key messages of disaster preparedness were delivered along with music, stage effects and interesting presentation of the actors. 

 

Junior primary grade students learnt how to be prepared for disasters through interactive drama performance. (Photo credits: ISD, HKSAR Government)

 

To facilitate extended learning and "bring home messages" from students to their family members, a 16-paged <Educational Booklet and Games on Disaster Preparedness> (「防災應變遊戲小冊子」) was designed and distributed to the children attending the drama performance. The booklet included key disaster preparedness messages, quizzes, colouring games and a board game.

Click the book cover to start reading!

 

A total of 10 drama performances were successfully delivered from June to July 2019, reaching over 2,200 students:

 

Date

School

1

Jun 17

Lions Clubs International Ho Tak Sum Primary School 

2

Jun 18

Yan Oi Tong Madam Lau Wong Fat Primary School 

3

Jun 19

Dr. Catherine F. Woo Memorial School

4

Jun 20

Sha Tin Wai Dr. Catherine F. Woo Memorial School

5

Jun 21

PLK Dr. Jimmy Wong Chi-Ho ( Tin Sum Valley ) Primary School

6

Jul 3

Meng Tak Catholic School

7

Jul 4

Wong Tai Sin Government Primary School

8

Jul 8

C.C.C. Kei Tsun Primary School

9

Jul 9

Fukien secondary school affiliated school

10

Jul 10

HKFYG Lee Shau Kee Primary School

 

Detailed feedback for evaluating the results of the pilot programme were collected from participating students through pre-/post-tests, face-to-face interviews, as well as teachers through written feedback form. The feedback results showed that more than 70% of student respondents and 90% of teacher respondents indicated that students had to learn about disaster-related knowledge and response skills at early age. Results from students' pre/post-tests showed positive change in students' disaster knowledge and approach to response. Student audience were able to recall and illustrate the knowledge and skills learnt after attending the drama performance. 

 

One of the answers provided by a primary one student on the post-test paper.

 

One of the answers provided by a primary two student on the post-test paper.

 

Second Phase of Educational Theatre Programme for Primary School Students on Disaster Preparedness

In light of the success of the pilot programme, we have launched the next phase of Disaster Education for Primary School Children through Education Theatre in collaboration with the Drama Gallery, one of Hong Kong’s most highly-regarded professional theatre troupes. To build a disaster prepared community, the public should be engaged at early age. 

 

Ms Gladys Liu Shuk-fan, Administration Director of Drama Gallery, has tremendous experience in using education theatre for school students. Gladys thinks that disaster education in early age is essential for human life especially in a fast-growing world. 

"We (the Drama Gallery) believe that drama is not only for entertainment, but also comes with important educational functions and values. Therefore, we will collaborate with the HKJCDPRI next year to produce a drama for educating children about disaster preparedness. I realise deeply that children can remember television dramas and songs easily - perhaps that is the "magic of drama". The influence of dramas has long been recognized in the education industry and other sectors. Hence, we are planning to use interactive musicals to arouse primary school students' interests in learning about disaster preparedness. Musicals are effective in a way students can feel the excitement and interests in lessons, and that learning becomes much more enjoyable. Students can learn about drama while understanding messages on disaster preparedness. Through the tour performance, students' comprehension and memory skills can also be strengthened. Drama Gallery's collaboration with the HKJCDPRI on organizing the primary school musical tour enables students to learn about messages and basic response skills on disaster preparedness.", Ms Gladys Liu, Administration Director, Drama Gallery

 

The application of School Tour Programme is now open till 17 January 2020. For more information, please contact hkjcdpri@hkam.org.hk or contact@dramagallery.com