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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 69-74

Disaster risk reduction knowledge of Grade 11 students: Impact of senior high school disaster education in the philippines

School Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (SDRRMC), Las Piñas City National Senior High School – Doña Josefa Campus, Department of Education, Division of Las Piñas City, National Capital Region, Philippines

Date of Web Publication9-Feb-2018

Correspondence Address:
Mark Anthony Catedral Mamon
Josefa Avenue, Doña Josefa Village, Almanza Uno, Las Piñas City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijhsdm.ijhsdm_16_17

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Introduction: The Department of Education of the Philippines implements one of the provisions of the Philippine disaster risk reduction and management act of 2010 (DRRM Act) to integrate DRRM in the school curriculum and other educational programs, and to heighten the level of resiliency of students toward natural disasters. Hence, this study was conducted to assess the disaster-related knowledge, preparedness and readiness, adaptation, awareness, and risk perception of Grade 11 students. Materials and Methods: A total of 120 respondents answered the survey questionnaire about DRRM. Responses of Grade 11 students were assessed using the five-point Likert scale. Results: There is a high percentage of students who understood some disaster-related concepts and ideas. Moreover, Grade 11 students are ready, prepared, adapted and aware on the risks inflicted by disasters. However, students were found to have low-disaster risk perception. Conclusion: Senior high school students have high levels of disaster-related knowledge, preparedness and readiness, adaptation, and awareness. This could possibly be the effect of the integration of disaster education in the senior high school science curriculum.

Keywords: Department of education, disaster risk reduction and management, K-12 curriculum, natural disasters, Senior High School

How to cite this article:
Catedral Mamon MA, Vargas Suba RA, Son IL. Disaster risk reduction knowledge of Grade 11 students: Impact of senior high school disaster education in the philippines. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage 2017;5:69-74

How to cite this URL:
Catedral Mamon MA, Vargas Suba RA, Son IL. Disaster risk reduction knowledge of Grade 11 students: Impact of senior high school disaster education in the philippines. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Sep 21];5:69-74. Available from: https://www.ijhsdm.org/text.asp?2017/5/3/69/225102

  Introduction Top

The Philippines is a country with high vulnerability to natural hazards. According to an international report, the Philippines ranked third out of 173 countries vulnerable to disaster risks.[1] This evaluation was based on the potential of a natural hazard to cause heavy human casualties, damage to properties and infrastructures, and decline of human welfare such as health status and livelihoods.[2] Aside from the impact of disaster risks, the country is also vulnerable to the effects of climate change.[1]

The Philippines is a disaster-prone country because of its geographical location.[3] The archipelago is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it prone to geological natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.[4] The location of the Philippines is also highly susceptible to various meteorological hazards.[5] The country is located in the path of tropical cyclones that can be categorized as tropical depression, tropical storm, severe tropical storm, typhoon, and super typhoon. According to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, there is an average of 20 tropical cyclones entering the Philippine area of responsibility. With this location, the country has high susceptibility to flooding, storm surges, and strong winds.[1],[3] The 36, 289 km coastlines of the Philippines also contribute to the high susceptibility of the country to coastal flooding and storm surge.[5]

The significant and catastrophic impacts of natural hazards led countries and nations to prioritize disaster risk reduction (DRR). In January 2005, 168 countries adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) during the World Conference on Disaster Reduction held at Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture Japan. This action-oriented response has a goal to integrate effectively disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and vulnerability reduction to the policies, plans, and programs of sustainable development.[6] Governments all over the globe implement DRR, which is an organized and step-by-step approach to identify, assess, and reduce the risks inflicted by disasters.[2] It is an integral effort in managing disasters by strengthening the capacities of communities toward the risks and adverse impacts of natural hazards.[6] The Philippines is one of the countries who agreed on the implementation of HFA.

The Philippine government is committed to promote and implement measures and guidelines for DRR. To strongly implement this international standard of DRR, the Fourteenth Philippine Congress passed the Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine DRRM Act, also known as the DRRM Act. This Republic Act was formally signed by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on May 27, 2010. This law strengthens the Philippine DRRM system by institutionalizing the National DRRM Plan.[6] The DRRM Act mandates the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to develop a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Framework, which serves as the principal guide to conduct efforts on DRRM all over the country.

This law also provides a proactive approach in addressing disaster risks, wherein the people become presently prepared for the imminent risks and threats of natural disasters.[7] DRRM Act also requires the integration of DRR Education in the school curricula of both basic and tertiary levels. It was opportune to incorporate DRR education because the Philippines' Department of Education (DepEd) recently implemented a new basic education system known as the K-12 Basic Education Curriculum which follows the rules, regulations, and guidelines of Republic Act 10533, also called as the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.[8],[9] This educational program added two more years to the 10 years of basic education in the Philippines.[8],[10] Specifically, these 2 years are known as senior high school education, an added educational level to Kindergarten, 6 years of elementary, and 4 years of junior high school.[10] In the curriculum of senior high school, DRR education is integrated in Earth and Life Science, a core subject offered to all tracks, and to a specialized track subject Disaster Readiness and Risk Reduction.

With the provisions of DRRM Act, comprehensive, and integrated knowledge building about disaster education is intensified among students under the K-12 Education Program. The youth are empowered to be proactive members of community on DRR and sustainable development. It is relevant and significant to assess the capacity of students on DRR to ensure that the senior high school education of the K-12 curriculum is substantial on the culture of safety and resilience toward disaster risks. Furthermore, an assessment about the DRR knowledge of senior high school students will be a significant report on the impact of disaster education in senior high school level in the Philippines. Hence, this study was conceptualized to determine the DRR knowledge of Grade 11 students in the Philippines. Specifically, it aimed to assess the disaster-related knowledge, preparedness and readiness, adaptation, awareness, and risk perception of senior high school students.

  Materials And Methods Top

This research used a cross-sectional study design wherein it attempts to assess the disaster-related knowledge, preparedness and readiness, adaptation, awareness, and risk perception of Grade 11 or senior high school students. A simple random sampling technique was used to obtain 120 respondents from a total population of 712 students at a selected Senior High School in Las Piñas City, Philippines.

A survey questionnaire was adopted by the researchers from the study of Tuladhar et al.[2] The survey questionnaire from this study is a validated data collection tool based from different research studies and literatures in investigating DRR knowledge. Some of the criteria in the survey questionnaire were based on the suggestions in the report of Southern California Earthquake Center on public awareness, education, and knowledge transfer,[11] and Peru's National Educational Program for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation on training and education for improving earthquake disaster management in developing countries.[12] Some criteria were also based on the study of Tanaka [13] that investigates the effect of disaster education on improving people's readiness and preparedness in Fukui, Japan and San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA, and based on the study of Ronan et al.[14] that correlates hazard education on hazard awareness, risk perceptions, psychological factors, knowledge, and hazards adjustments of youth.

The respondents answered twenty (20) questions that were categorized into five. These categories on DRR knowledge are the following: disaster-related knowledge, disaster preparedness and readiness, disaster adaptation, disaster awareness, and disaster risk perception. Disaster-related knowledge refers to the information and familiarity of the respondent on the occurrence of disaster, and of being informed about disaster risk education training and seminar. Disaster preparedness and readiness refers to the knowledge and capacities of a person, community, institution, or a government to efficiently anticipate, and effectively respond to and recover from imminent and present disasters. Disaster adaptation refers to the adjustment that a person, community, institution, or a government can conduct or implement in response to actual or expected disasters and their effects. Disaster awareness evaluates the respondent's level of consciousness on disasters. Disaster risk perception evaluates the individual judgement toward the dangers and other impacts of disasters.

A five-point Likert scale (5 = Strongly Agree, 4 = Agree, 3 = Disagree, 2 = Strongly Disagree, and 1 = I do not know) was used to determine the responses of students on different issues of DRR. The five responses in the survey questionnaire were also rephrased with terminologies suited for DRR issues based on the study of Tuladhar et al.[2] [Table 1] shows the DRR issues and the responses.
Table 1: Disaster risk reduction issues and responses

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The responses on the five-point rating scale of each question were descriptively presented as percentages and were analyzed using nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis test. This statistical test is a rank test that is a nonparametric substitute to ANOVA used in testing the difference between three or more independent groups. Nonparametric tests are used if the data are not normally distributed and have unequal variances.[15] Statistical test was conducted using Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) Version 22 (IBM Corporation, 1 New Orchard Road Armonk, New York, United States). It is a software package that is used for comprehensive data analysis. SPSS contains all basic parametric and nonparametric tests. It can also be used in creating tables and charts. The level of significance in all cases was set at P < 0.05. A small P value that is less than the predetermined significance level such as 0.05, which is a common alpha value, means strong evidence against the null hypothesis or in favor to the alternative.

  Results Top

[Table 2] shows the mean percentages of each response option of Grade 11 students on disaster-related knowledge. Responses in all cases of disaster-related knowledge are significantly different. Out of 120 respondents, 33.33% understood when a disaster will take place, followed by 30.00% who find it unclear on this DRR issue. Majority of respondents (42.50%) have no clear knowledge on the idea that there is no prevention for the occurrence of disasters. There is also a higher percentage of students (35.00%) who understood the importance of participating on a disaster risk education seminar and training, followed by 20.83%, and 20.00% of Grade 11 students who have no clear idea and find it confusing on this important issue.
Table 2: Mean percentages of each response option on disaster-related knowledge

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Responses in all cases of disaster preparedness and readiness are significantly different. Most of the respondents are ready and prepared on disaster risks, because they find it significant on sharing knowledge and experiences of disasters, they recognize the importance of making conversations about disasters with their family and other people, they know their government can give assistance during disasters, they are confident that there will be an immediate rehabilitation after a disaster and because they gain knowledge from experts of disaster risks as shown in [Table 3].
Table 3: Mean percentages of each response option on disaster preparedness and readiness

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[Table 4] shows the mean percentages of each response option of Grade 11 students on disaster adaptation. Responses in all cases are significantly different. The highest percentage of students are adapted on disaster risks because they are aware on the location of shelter areas, evacuation centers, and open spaces, they are confident that government institutions can give assistance during the disaster, they are aware on disaster prone areas, they obtained sufficient information on disaster adaptation implemented by local government units and nongovernmental organizations, and they are aware about the evacuation system and plan of their locality.
Table 4: Mean percentages of each response option on disaster adaptation

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Responses in all cases of disaster awareness and risk perception are significantly different. Most of the students are aware on DRR at local, regional, and national level because of various disaster awareness campaigns, and most of the respondents are aware on the importance of building or infrastructure retrofitting as shown in [Table 5]. However, high percentage of students is not aware on the importance of preparing emergency kits and bags in case of disaster.
Table 5: Mean percentages of each response option on disaster awareness

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[Table 6] shows that the highest percentages of students, 29.17% and 25.00%, have not perceived and have no idea that large-scale disasters will definitely happen in the next 10 years. Most of the students, 36.67% and 25.83%, also have not perceived or have no idea on the safety of their localities or areas. Same trend was also observed regarding their perception about earthquake resistant structures such as their houses and other buildings.
Table 6: Mean percentages of each response option on disaster risk perception

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  Discussion Top

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) mentioned and established the fact that effective DRR education in the basic education curriculum solidifies and strengthens the culture of awareness, preparedness, and resiliency among the students.[16],[17] They are the most vulnerable victims of disasters wherein risks can affect their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.[16] These aforementioned calls and concerns by UNISDR urged all governments and institutions to conduct disaster management and mitigations.[17] The present Philippine government addresses and implements these recommendations of UNISDR by disseminating disaster risk assessment, reduction and management knowledge among government employees, local households, students, and other stakeholders, and designing frameworks of DRR measures.[3] The DepEd of the Philippines prioritizes the incorporation of DRRM into the national basic education system.

The responses of Grade 11 students in this study reflect how K-to-12 curriculum and other educational programs of DepEd are effective in addressing DRRM. DepEd implements the comprehensive DRRM in the Basic Education Framework which seeks to protect students and education staff (teachers and nonteaching personnel) from death and injury in schools, promotes risk reduction and resilience through education, and plan for a steady educational program despite of imminent natural hazards. Schools should be guided by this Framework for an effective assessment, planning, and implementation of DRR, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and rehabilitation

The DRRM in the basic education framework is fully reinforced by the present curriculum. School and community stakeholders are engaged and are asked to participate in the integration of DRR in the educational programs. Based from the School DRRM Manual of DepEd, the children or the youth should have a great involvement in educational activities that promote DRR awareness. It is a priority that students should have an in-depth understanding on school-based disaster risk reduction and management. Students should know what makes their school or community unsafe, and how can they make these places safe from disasters. Moreover, students should be knowledgeable on what to do before, during, and after natural disasters. It is clear that the active participation and cooperation of students is vital to the success of DRRM.

Some aspects of disaster risks are understood by the respondents, and most of them are ready, adapted and aware on the hazards that natural disasters can cause. However, students have very low disaster risk perception. Based on these findings, the core subject Earth and Life Science somehow elevated the knowledge of the students on natural hazards. Learning competencies include the hazards, hazard maps in identifying, and practical ways of coping geologic, hydrometeorological, and coastal processes. Geologic processes include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. Hydrometeorological processes include tropical cyclones, monsoons, floods, and tornadoes. Coastal processes include erosion, submersion, and saltwater intrusion. These competencies possibly improve the understanding of the students on the basic concepts of natural hazards, and the measures of mitigation and adaptation. Disaster risk perception must be improved among students to have a correct judgement toward the imminent dangers of natural hazards. Risk perception among students shall be developed to ensure an effective and protective public response and action.[18]

The success implementation of the school and community-based DRRM relies on public awareness and public education.[19] Disaster education aims to increase the resiliency of students on disaster risks by solidifying knowledge about disasters, developing skills that can be used to prepare, adapt, mitigate, and respond to the damaging effects of disasters, and elevating awareness that widens the scope of understanding on DRR.[20] With these objectives, DRR is advocated by promoting a culture of safety and resiliency in the community, most especially at the school level.[21]

Aside from the centralized competency-based approach adopted by the Philippines' DepEd, communication and promotion of DRR can materialize through strategic planning, development, and improvement of educational materials according to the United Nations Children Fund and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,[22] schools all over the country should integrate DRRM through textbook-driven approach, wherein students have reliable sources on the different concepts and issues about natural hazards. Other approaches include interactive and action learning for the students and professional development of teachers on DRR education.

  Conclusion Top

Grade 11 students understood some disaster-related concepts and ideas, and are prepared, adapted, and aware on the risks inflicted by these natural hazards. Low perception on disaster risks are evidently observed among senior high school students. The responses of Grade 11 students could be based on the efficiency and impact of the integration of DRR education in the senior high school curriculum. Specifically, integration of the concepts about the hazards, hazard maps, disaster preparedness, awareness, mitigation, prevention, adaptation, and resiliency in the science curriculum possibly affect the knowledge and understanding of students on DRR.


The authors are grateful to the support of the Department of Education – Division of Las Piñas. Specifically, the authors would like to thank the Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Loreta B. Torrecampo, CESO V, and the Division Planning Officer III, Dr. Raymond Magno, for encouraging us to conduct this research study. We also like to express our gratitude to the students who became the respondents of this study.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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


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