Current understanding of disaster risk reduction (DRR) concurs that, when provided the right education, children have the potential to reduce their own vulnerability and the vulnerability of others in their community. What, then, comprises the right education for DRR? Research has established the need for disaster education to address the causes and effects, prevention and response, and management and recovery from disaster events. The educational process must include diverse and practical techniques that reinforce disaster knowledge and builds a culture of safety and resilience amongst students. Drawing on syllabus content analysis and field research in two rural communities in semi-arid Northern Ghana, this study explored the presence and nature of DRR within the syllabi of the basic school system. By comparing the result of the content analysis with results from interviews and questionnaires completed by teachers and students, significant gaps were identified between the disaster pedagogy outlined in the syllabi (theory) and that which occurs in the classroom (practice). It was realized that while the theory outlines active and innovative techniques for teaching, learning, and evaluating DRR lessons, various challenges hinder the practical application of these techniques in the classroom. The study concludes that a lack of teacher training and professional development, and inadequate teaching and learning materials, generally account for these results. A new and consolidated effort is required from all stakeholders to train teachers and to provide the appropriate learning materials to improve on the current DRR education.
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