TOYKO (majirox news) — Disaster warning systems will be set up at all of Japan’s roughly 52,000 schools to provide better protection for children, according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).
MEXT had been planning the system for some time, but been unable to implement it due to local governments’ lack of funds, but the March 11 disasters have prompted greater urgency for disaster response.
MEXT has applied for funding for the program for the 2012 fiscal year.
The system MEXT is seeking to implement involves receiving emergency earthquake alerts issue online by the Meteorological Agency and automatically broadcasting these at schools.
The agency’s alerts are broadcast on TV and radio, as well as being sent to some mobile phones, but they only place they go to schools at the moment are teacher staff rooms equipped with TVs.
The alerts only go through if the TV is turned on, and during the March 11 earthquake that ravaged much of the Tohoku Region many school staff rooms did not have the TV on when the disaster struck.