APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
This commitment aims to promote road safety awareness and citizenship education in children and teachers in order to empower communities to create a safer society. Based on the conviction that habits and values acquired during childhood become the basis for lifelong behavior, this plan, aligned with WHO recommendations on prevention of injuries caused by traffic accidents, aims to 'protect today's children and educate them as tomorrow's drivers' taking into account the fact that more than 90 percent of accidents are avoidable and that the protection of children is the responsibility of adults.
This commitment will be implemented in schools using the existing classroom as a dissemination tool for children aged 4-12 years old in Double Shift Schools in Flores and Lavalleja. Through an agreement with the Quality Improving of the Primary School Plan (MECAEP, dependent of the Primary Education Board), the GRMF will conduct a series of training seminars for double shift school teachers in charge of extracurricular workshops. GRMF multidisciplinary team will be trained by agreement-generated courses with the Ministry of the Interior (Highway Police) and the Municipality of Montevideo. By doing this, the GRMF will cover 7 double shift schools in Flores (2 schools) and Lavalleja (5 schools). More than 1,300 children will be directly benefited by the program.
In order to best reach the intended population, the GRMF will work together with a multidisciplinary team that will produce interactive products appealing to children and teachers. Contents will be aimed at the primary level of education, catering to the needs of each of the existing levels, 6-7 years old, 8-9 years old, and 10-11 years old, getting more difficult and demanding according to age.
The specific objective of this commitment is to provide children with learning alternatives that are more engaging than those experienced in the classroom in order to create habits and customs that allow the child to be a responsible user of thoroughfare. This commitment will involve many different members of the educational community including students, teachers, and families.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
The project will be developed in three phases with the following actions:
- Phase 1 (October 2010 to December 2010): 1. Work team definition and staffing 2. Definition of objectives, 3. Scope of contents
- Phase 2 (January 2011 to February 2011): 1. Programming of game contents, 2. Evolutionary testing with final users (children, teachers), 3. Design of pedagogical guides for teachers
- Phase 3 (March 2011 to September 2011): 1. Final Product Launching 2. Presentation at selected schools 3. Advance Monitoring regarding knowledge.
- Implementation of permanent workshops on Road Safety topics in Selected Double Shift Schools.
- Training of all of the children attending selected Double Shift Schools.
- Training of half of selected Double Shift Schools teachers.
Each year, more than 500 people, equaling 16 per 100 thousand inhabitants, die in Uruguay as a result of traffic accidents. It is estimated by the United States CDC that for every person that dies in a traffic accident, three others are injured. This epidemic is the primary cause of death for people under 35 and the problem continues to grow because there is no objective data to promote the implementation of effective prevention policies. It is estimated that more than 90 percent of road accidents are avoidable. Considering the severity of the problem, more attention must be paid to road safety.
According to the National Agency for Road Safety (UNASEV) in 2009, the two provinces with the worst rates of road accident fatalities in Uruguay are Flores (50.6/100 thousand people, total population 25,648 people) and Lavalleja (35.5/100 thousand people, total population 61,910 people). Additionally, Flores has a population of 25,000 people and 8,000 motorcycles registered, which equates to 1 motorcycle per every 3 people.
The Gonzalo Rodriguez Memorial Foundation believes that road safety education is part of social education and it represents a solid base for citizenship education since it can create positive habits and attitudes, improve quality of life, environmental quality, and safety. If these attitudes are developed from childhood, children will have a foundation for lifelong habits that will make them responsible drivers and pedestrians in the future.
Source: National Agency for Road Safety - UNASEV - , 2009).
SEEKING: Financial Resources, Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information
The work carried out by GRMF implies a cultural change. Such a change requires a great deal of professionalism; concrete scientific data should provide evidence for this need. This can only be achieved with the necessary resources and advice. When such a change is proposed in a society, the support of education authorities and of globally respected and recognized organizations becomes crucial.
OFFERING: Financial Resources, Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information
The GRMF provides the partners with a Road Safety Manual of Good Practices regarding the subject from the child protection standpoint. In this manual processes will be revised and based on experience the GRMF will propose solutions and carefully elaborate a guide to minimize mistakes when carrying out a Road Safety Plan for Children. This manual represents systematization of a pilot project designed, implemented and executed in the reality of a Latin-American country.