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ERIC Number: ED557866
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 272
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3037-7996-1
Children, Learning and Chronic Natural Disasters: How Does the Government of Dominica Address Education during Low-Intensity Hurricanes?
Serrant, Ted Donaldson
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
By the time today's Grade K students graduate high school in the Commonwealth of Dominica, they will have experienced five major and many low-intensity hurricanes (LIH). Between August and November each year, each hurricane, major or low-intensity, represents a major threat to their safety and schooling. This mixed-method case study investigated how the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica (GOCD) addressed education during low-intensity hurricanes. I identified and discussed government's assertions, actions and consequences associated with education and LIH. I reviewed ten official documents to identify government's policies and assertions about education and LIH. I interviewed nine key senior or elite officers in the Ministries of Finance, Public Works and Education responsible for handling low-intensity hurricanes to identify their perspectives and actions. I also interviewed ten school principals who experienced Hurricane Dean in 2007 and Hurricane Ophelia in 2011 on their experiences and perspectives. Finally, I inspected ten school buildings to assess the extent to which repairs adhered to building codes and standards as mitigation strategy for LIH. Theoretically, this study proposed an adaptive developmental approach as an anticipatory approach that sustainably incorporates LIH into educational development, planning and operations. Results of this study indicated that government and its agencies adopted a response-recovery approach based on the perception of disasters as "Acts of God" and insufficient local funds to address them. This resulted in proposed externally-based funding strategies that have not been implemented since announced in 2006. There appears to be the desire to shift to anticipatory mitigation-risk reduction approaches rather than the present response-recovery approach. This would have to be articulated in language that is binding. Institutional and administrative frameworks for addressing low-intensity hurricanes and education were described as not meeting their mission and objectives. The result was a set of administrative failures that cascaded from the national to the ministerial level and onto schools putting children at risk as LIH events unfolded. Principals were left mostly on their own without the appropriate training, support and working communication links to address LIH; unable to safely evacuate students in the case of Hurricane Ophelia. The Ministry of education must become a lead agency in LIH management. The Ministry of Education needs to put in place policies, institutional and financial frameworks for managing education during LIH. This should include LIH professional development for teachers, principals and elite officers; development of school disaster plans; the conduct of regular disaster drills and exercises at schools, and rescheduling lost instruction days. Finally, LIH as chronic events must be incorporated into the plans, budget and operations of the Ministry of Education using the adaptive developmental approach. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Dominica