The research article investigates the extent to which education helps protect individuals during and after a large-scale natural disaster. Primary research was conducted with representative survey data collected from the people of the Island of Sumatra situated in Indonesia. The exercise was done during and after the occurrence of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in the year 2004. The tsunami displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians and claimed the lives of many others. The survey mainly focused on two provinces which were gravely destroyed by the tsunami. According to findings of the research, more educated men had more likelihood to survive events such as the tsunami than less educated men. However, education did not seem to be a factor affecting survival among the females. Similarly, education did not influence the likelihood of being displaced or the levels of post-traumatic stress over a shorter term such as a year after the tragedy (Frankenberg et al. 2013).
Whereas education did not have an impact in a shorter-term, it seemed to play a significant role in the long-run. According to the research findings, the psycho – social health of victims with better education was reported to be better than that of victims with little education five years after the tragedy. In respect to being displaced, victims who were better educated were more likely to rent a new home, move to private homes, or seek shelter among friends or family. Conversely, Victims who were less educated were likely to opt for temporary housing such as camps. The better educated were also more able to quickly cut down on their spending habits after the disaster whereas individuals with little education scarcely did the same. To sum up everything, the research came to a conclusion that over a longer period, better education and high levels of resilience to disasters are closely related. (Frankenberg et al. 2013).
The fact that the research was conducted on a “ground zero” zone and focused on psychosocial resources and the built environment to capture the dynamics as they are means that the research findings are more likely to be reliable. Better educated individuals can indeed cope up with such events in the longer term. However, it’s important to note that education beyond the primary level is more likely to shield men against death than women (Frankenberg et al. 2013).
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