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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 98-102

Knowledge and practices of school teacher regarding disaster management

Community Health, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik, India

Date of Web Publication18-Aug-2014

Correspondence Address:
Joshi Sonopant Ganpatrao
Gut No. 43 Satara Parisar, Bajaj Marg Beed Bypass Road, Aurangabad, Maharashtra - 431 005
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-9019.139055

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Introduction: Developing countries suffer major losses due to disasters. Reducing disaster losses is a fundamental goal for most governments. School teachers must be aware of disasters and its consequences to tackle the disasters at school. Aims: An exploratory study was conducted to assess knowledge and self-expressed practices regarding disaster management among secondary school teachers at selected schools of Pune city. Materials and Methods: A non-experimental research design was used. Five hundred and forty secondary school teachers were selected by purposive sampling technique. Survey was conducted using a structured interview questionnaire. Results: Findings revealed that mean knowledge score was 15.9 (53%) and mean practice score was 7.05 (47%). There was moderate positive correlation between knowledge score and practice score (r = 0.54). Conclusions: Study concluded that that teachers knowledge and self-expressed practices were not at satisfactory level. Capability building among teachers is utmost necessary.

Keywords: Disaster management, knowledge, practices, teachers

How to cite this article:
Ganpatrao JS. Knowledge and practices of school teacher regarding disaster management. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage 2014;2:98-102

How to cite this URL:
Ganpatrao JS. Knowledge and practices of school teacher regarding disaster management. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Sep 21];2:98-102. Available from: https://www.ijhsdm.org/text.asp?2014/2/2/98/139055

  Introduction Top

Disasters are on rise, at global as well as in India. The loss of life and property due to disasters has increased substantially during last two decades. [1] People are now at risk from disasters. Flood, earthquake, terrorist attack, fire, and road accidents has created concern across the country for preparedness. There is urgent need to adopt multidimensional, multi-disciplinary and multi sectoral approach to reduce the losses Government of India in its twelfth 5-year plan document, have emphasized the need to enhance knowledge, skill and values to reduce the impact of disasters on the education sector. [2] To build in a culture of safety and resilience at all levels in the education sector, there is a need to carry out a large number of initiatives (Balaka Dey Chillibreze 2009). [3]

Literature review and need of the study

Mahajan et al. 2010 carried out study in Mumbai, to assess the knowledge of first aid among general population. Sample was randomly selected from general population. The study highlights that the knowledge of first aid is generally deficient, with only 13% of people are able to correctly treat the common ailment like bleeding, burns, and fractures. [4]

Ghosh A and Bharat R (Burns 2008) reports that community awareness Programmed for the target group of ladies and teenage girls and School Education Programmers for the target group of school children of standard VIII in the steel producing city, Jamshedpur. He revealed that not only the formal disaster management training helps to improve the knowledge of the people but also the efforts like giving information booklet on child and infant safety and first aid treatment are also effective. [5]

Above review of literature has shown that although there is information and recognition of the issues-related disaster management, there are very few studies done on need assessment on primary or secondary school teachers in India regarding basic first aid course or refresher course. In India, around 30% of population is below 15 years of age, and they are spending their maximum time in schools. [6]

Justification of the study was based on the facts that safety of the school children is basic right of children. Teachers must be aware of disaster management in schools and gain knowledge and implement safety practices in school environment. Hence researcher assessed the knowledge and practices of teachers regarding disaster management. A study to assess the knowledge and self-expressed practices among secondary school teachers regarding disaster management in Pune city.

  Materials and Methods Top

An exploratory research approach was used for this study. A non-experimental research design was used. A non-probability purposive sampling technique was adopted. Total 540 teachers across the city from 30 schools were included in the study. The state board schools, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) schools were also given proportionate representation. The study was conducted in secondary schools in Pune city. Thirty secondary schools selected for the research by dividing Pune city in five regions viz. East, West, South, North, and Central. From each region, six schools were selected. This was done to ensure that participating schools were sufficiently representative of each region, programmer level (State Board, CBSE, and ICSE) and language of instruction. Knowledge and self-expressed practices are variables in this study. In this study, Knowledge Assessment semi structured questionnaire was developed. For self-expressed practices checklist was developed regarding disaster management. Questionnaire design consists of three sections; first section consists of demographic data such as age, sex, education, experience, medium of teaching, type of teacher's training programmer, and teaching experience. Second section comprised items to assess knowledge of teachers regarding disaster management and Section III consists of self-expressed practices checklist regarding disaster management. The data was organized using excel sheet and data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. [7]

  Results Top

Data collection procedure

Permission was sought from school authority, 540 teachers were selected for the study by purposive sampling, and teachers were explained about the purpose of the study. Their willingness was sought before the study and informed consent was taken from each sample and confidentiality of the data was maintained. Researcher himself administered the semi structured questionnaire.

Validity and reliability

Validity of the tool was made by experts in the field modification was made and final draft of the tool is prepared. The reliability coefficient was found to be 0.8430 (84%). Pilot study was undertaken.

  Results Top

Section I: Sample characteristics of the secondary school teachers

Data in [Table 1] shows that among 540 teachers 394 (73%) respondents were female teachers and 146 (27%) were male teachers. The sample distribution shows that out of 540 teachers majority 284 (52.6%) were between the age-group of 35-44 years, 148 (27.4%) were in age-group of 25-34 years, 88 (16.3%) samples were in above 45 years, and 20 (3.7%) were in age-group 18-24 years. It interprets that very few teachers are in young age-group and majority of the teachers are in middle age-group.

Teaching experience

One hundred and sixty-two (31%) teachers having 11-15 years of experience, 140 (26%) teachers had up to 5 years' experience, 111 (21%) with 6 to 10 years, 79 (14%) with 16 to 20 years, and 44 (8%) possessing 21 or more years in the field.

Training of first aid or disaster management

Of the 540 responses, 399 (74%) of them had not been exposed to any type of first aid or disaster management programmer while nearly 141 (26%) had participated in some of the first aid training programmer which was organized by school authority.

Section II: Assessment of knowledge score of teachers regarding disaster management

[Table 2] depicts that majority of the teachers 448 (82.96%) had average knowledge, 39 (7.22%) had good knowledge, and 53 (4.26%) had poor knowledge regarding disaster management. It clearly indicates that there gross deficiency in knowledge of disaster management among school teachers.
Table 2: Overall level of knowledge among school teachers (n=540)

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Association of knowledge

Age-wise distribution of knowledge score shows [Table 3] that young teachers are more knowledgeable, as age-advanced score shows in downward trends. Researcher tried to investigate whether this score has any association with gender of the respondent. It is observed that females are comparatively more knowledgeable than males. The mean scores of females were 16.42 and mean score of male was 14.82.
Table 3: Age- and gender-wise knowledge score (n=540)

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Region-wise knowledge distribution shows [Table 4] that teachers in central and eastern region is on higher side, i.e., 17.31 and 17.28, whereas north, south, and western region score was 14.63, 13.11, and 12.93, respectively.
Table 4: Region wise distribution of knowledge score

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Researcher tried to find out association of teaching experience [Table 5] and that of disaster management knowledge. As no trend in these figures is observed, it can be concluded that, increase in teaching experience may not necessarily be useful to increase knowledge of disaster management. Researcher also made an attempt to find out any kind of association attached with the score and that of previous training of Disaster Management or First Aid. It was observed that, previous training in disaster management and/or first aid definitely adds to the knowledge but not to a large extent. This is so, because average score of Teachers who were trained in disaster management is found to be 16.94 against 15.69 who had not received any kind of training on disaster management or first aid.
Table 5: Knowledge score as per experience

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Section III: Assessment of self-expressed practices of teachers regarding disaster management

According to [Table 6], only 8% were found in good grade 29.6% were in poor grade in reveals that along with knowledge their practices also found in poor state [Table 7].
Table 6: Self-expressed practices and grades

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Table 7: Mean practice score as per demographic variables

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The mean score of practices observed was 7.05, i.e., 47%. It clearly indicates that safety practices of teachers were needs to be improved. Categories of practices adopted-researcher tried to identify the age-related practices and found that mean score of safety practices of 18-24 age-group was 5.25, mean score of 25-34 years age was 7.36, and mean score of 45 years and above age-group was 7.19. It shows that very young teachers are very poor in safety practices and as age progresses safety practices improves. There was no significant association of sex, teaching medium, education, pattern of teaching, and safety practices with practices adapted.

Section IV: Correlation between knowledge and practice score regarding disaster management among teachers

Researcher tried to identify correlation of knowledge and practices of teachers by calculating correlation coefficient (r) between these two parameters. It was found moderate correlation. It indicates that knowledge does not bring substantial difference in their practices.

  Discussion Top

Assessment of knowledge and practices regarding disaster management among secondary school teachers in Pune city

Study showed that among 540 teachers, only 7.22% teachers had good score. It shows that there is general lack of information among school teachers regarding disaster management. This highlights the need for disaster safety education. It is evident that disaster has significant impact on school children. Improvement in knowledge and practices of teachers equip the teachers with knowledge of how to react if an emergency situation arises. Teacher should take initiative to improve their knowledge and practices by using booklet, posters, brochures, charts, etc. The school authority should provide such material to the teachers. [8]

Above findings are supported with the study conducted by Pala I. and Vankar GK 1997 Assessment of knowledge and attitude of primary teachers about disasters suggests that only one fifth teachers out of 113 were confident about dealing with an accidents. It was revealed that there was a knowledge deficit, especially regarding the prevalence of accidents. Communication about accidents among the teachers, parents, and doctor was virtually non-existent. Even primary care givers showed poor knowledge score on home safety and first aid (Thein M M and others, 2005) though the score of knowledge of road safety was satisfactory. [9]

Correlation between knowledge and practices regarding disaster management among teachers

There is moderate correlation between knowledge and self-expressed practices of secondary school teachers regarding disaster management. There is gross deficiency observed in relation to knowledge and practices of teachers. Safety is very important concern. Every school and community must take it seriously and strive continually to achieve highest safety in schools. Every school is unique by virtue of its teachers, students, location and culture. Teacher's role is very important in mitigating the hazards and disasters in schools. The teacher who is aware of disasters and its management can improve the practices successfully.

  Conclusion Top

Study reveals that there is gross deficiency in knowledge and practices of teachers regarding disaster management. Further analysis shows that first aid is very important component in safety of the children, teachers fails to respond to the first aid management also. It was assumed that knowledge brings some changes in practices, but researcher had identified that their practices are not correlated to knowledge score. Hence, it is concluded that teachers need to be given training in disaster management by using multiple media.


  • No disaster plan was available in surveyed schools. School authorities, therefore, should take initiative and sensitize the school community (students, teaching, and non-teaching staff, management staff, and parents) regarding disaster preparedness and management. It is therefore strongly recommended that each school must prepare their own school disaster management plan (SDMP). The SDMP should consists the following components namely viz. school disaster management (SDM) committee, safety assessment, evacuation map, formation and training of disaster management team and establishment of task force
  • Periodical mock drill and evacuation drill should be exercised in all the schools at least urban schools of the state in collaboration with concerned authorities such as Police, Fire brigade etc
  • Capacity building is one of the World Health Organization (WHO) strategy for improving disaster preparedness. Indian Red Cross is universally recognized institution for capacity building of the communities. School authorities should collaborate with such agencies to raise awareness among the school teachers and students and every teacher must undergo such training [10]
  • Traffic authorities should ensure that if any mishap occurs there should be way to enter ambulance or fire engine. Researcher strongly recommends that at least schools located in city should have one way traffic control around the schools up to the main road so that vehicles will come in one direction and traffic mishap will be avoided. In addition to this, speed breaker at the entrance of the school should be constructed to control on the speed
  • Subject of disaster management should be included in the curriculum of the standard 5 th to 10 th standard.

Area for further research

  • In this study, it was found that there is low level of knowledge among school teachers regarding disaster management with regional disproportionality. Therefore, school-based disaster education activities remain a phenomenon. The more researches are needed in this area
  • This study covered component of knowledge and practices of disaster management. Other components such as behavior, attitude, and culture are open for research
  • Some studies can be conducted to assess the school safety and security, school building, grounds, in which fire extinguishers, unsafe parking area, etc., should be assessed, safety index should be determined for each school
  • Similar study can be conducted among school students, college students, and general public. Taking into account entire state of Maharashtra
  • Similar study can be undertaken as comparative study between rural and urban teachers
  • Similar study can be conducted by using advanced technology like simulation, online learning, virtual classrooms, etc
  • There is urgent need for international data sets to provide sex-disaggregated data on disaster-related mortality, morbidity, and long-term consequences.
  • Research is needed both at local and at national level on structural processes and factors that increase disaster vulnerability in women and men across different social groups
  • Effects of funding, programming, training, and the consequences of these for demographic variables in disaster situations is another important area that needs to be addressed by research studies.

  References Top

1.K. Park, Park′s Text Book of Preventive and Social Medicine 21 st Edition, M/s banarasidas Bhanot Publishers Jabalpur 2011; 736-40.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Available from: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards [Last accessed  date 2012 Dec 31].  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Donohue S. Disaster Management. Ch 24, Geneva; 2011.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Dasgupta R. Disaster Management and Rehabilitation, 2 nd ed. New Delhi: Mittal Publication; 2012.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Marathe PP. Concepts and Practices in Disaster Management. 2 nd ed. Pune: Diamond Publication; 2011.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Ray S. Disaster Management, 1 st ed. New Delhi: CBS Publishers and Distributors Pvt Ltd; 2012.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Polit, Hungler. Nursing research, 6 th ed. 2012.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7382298.stm [Last accessed date 2012 Mar 22].  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Brown BJ. Disaster Preparedness and Advance Planning for Disaster Relief, 3 rd ed. Paragamon Press; 2010.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Available from: http://across.co.nz/WorldsWorstDisasters.html [Last accessed date 2012 Mar 22].  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7]

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