Safer Learning Environments Assessment Toolkit

USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network (ECCN) has developed a Safer Learning Environments (SLE) Assessment Toolkit. Three previous drafts of the toolkit have been piloted by teams in nine countries and the final version is ready to use. This version is a significant revision to the SLE Qualitative Toolkit that also incorporates quantitative methods, and extended guidance on conducting ethical research in crisis and conflict contexts.

Why is this toolkit needed?
An assessment of safety within the learning environment can provide critical information that supports efforts at reducing programmatic, fiduciary, and institutional risks in education programs, particularly those in conflict and crisis environments. The SLE Toolkit, like the Rapid Education and Risk Analysis (RERA) Toolkit with which it is closely aligned, aims to provide users, and in particular Implementing Partners seeking a quick diagnostic exercise that focuses on a specific project, with guidance on understanding these risks to safe learning.

To download the toolkit, click here.

Building Peace through Education in South Sudan

From INEE newsletter:

Building Peace through Education in South Sudan
Education Cannot Wait 
Reminding us that the reason we cannot wait because seven year olds are only 7 once!

“If I was not educated, I would be one of the people that would cause problems for South Sudan now,” says Victor Dut Chol, the Director of Research Policy Development and Sustainable Development Goals/Peace Education Focal Point in the Ministry of Education of South Sudan.

Education Cannot Wait is supporting the development of a multi-year programme aiming to provide education to South Sudan’s most vulnerable children and youth.

Victor is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Like many of the boys who fled the violence of the civil war in the ’80s and trekked enormous distances to find safety in Ethiopia, the capital and other places, Victor doesn’t actually know how old he is. Birth registration is very low in South Sudan, and only about half of children are registered at birth.

But Victor never gave up. He pursued education with tenacity throughout his journey as a person uprooted by violence, from Ethiopia, to Kenya and then to the United States of America. Having graduated with a Master’s in Public Administration, he is now back in South Sudan because he believes it is his time to give back. He is part of the Task Team that will put together the Multi-Year Resilience Programme led by the Government of South Sudan.

To read the full article, please click here.

Migration, Displacement and Education

Migration, Displacement and Education: Building Bridges, not Walls
GEM Report

Migration and displacement are likely to be a fact of life for some time which is why all teachers need to be inclusive teachers and all systems need to be inclusive systems.

The 2019 Global Education Monitoring report’s specific findings and practical recommendations on education and migration will make an important contribution to the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which will be formally adopted by member states at an intergovernmental conference in Marrakesh on 10 December 2018.

The report brings the agenda of the Global Compact and that of SDG 4 closer together and creates clarity for countries now tasked with transforming words into policy and policy into reality.The objectives of the Global Compact for Migration echo many of the targets in the fourth Sustainable Development Goal and give renewed emphasis to the principles of non-discrimination and inclusion, recognizing that effective access to education for migrant children is a fundamental human right. Education is also a critical path to integration into society and the best investment in sustainable development. It provides migrant children with opportunities for their own advancement as well as a chance to contribute both to their country of residence and, in many cases, eventually also to their country of origin. Education is a human right and a transformational force for poverty eradication, sustainability and peace. People on the move, whether for work or education, and whether voluntarily or forced, do not leave their right to education behind. The 2019 Global Education Monitoring report underscores the huge potential and opportunities of ensuring that migrants and displaced persons have access to quality education. 

To read the full report, click here.

Earth Day 2019

It seems frivolous to need to focus just one day on the environment when the threat of climate change means every day must have this at the top of agendas -personal and political.

“In nature, nothing exists alone.”
— Rachel Carson, 1962

Nature’s gifts to our planet are the millions of species that we know and love, and many more that remain to be discovered. Unfortunately, human beings have irrevocably upset the balance of nature and, as a result, the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. But unlike the fate of the dinosaurs, the rapid extinction of species in our world today is the result of human activity.

The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to causes driven by human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides to name a few. The impacts are far reaching.

If we do not act now, extinction may be humanity’s most enduring legacy.

Earth Day Network is asking people to join our Protect our Species campaign. Our goals are to:

  • Educate and raise awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.
  • Achieve major policy victories that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats.
  • Build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values.
  • Encourage individual actions such as adopting plant based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.
  • Check out some inspiring activities in African countries:
  • from the BBC Women working for change
In Accra, Ghana, water is readily available but it is sold in individual plastic sachets which now litter the city’s streets. Yaa Sule, 45, picks the sachets off the street and fills around five big bags a day with them, which she then sells to a recycling company to support her children and grandchildren.

Leaving the Youngest Behind

From the recent INEE newsletter:

Leaving the Youngest Behind

The stage from birth to five years is the most important in a child’s development, when over 90 per cent of brain development takes place. Along with adequate nutrition,
good health care, protection and play, early learning is fundamental for a child’s full
development. Learning begins at birth and occurs in many ways, including interaction with parents, family and community and play; but pre-primary education – also known as early childhood education, pre-school, kindergarten, and nursery – is now widely
recognised as critical for children to reach their full potential. Not only does it stimulate cognitive and emotional development, but there is robust evidence of pre-primary
education’s impact on school completion and learning outcomes in later childhood, as well as lifelong benefits in terms of health and earnings. Nor does it just impact on school attendance or completion: children who receive pre-primary education do consistently better in mathematics, science and reading, even after accounting for socio-
economic factors.

The analysis in this report reveals a striking gap between donor promises, policy and
practice, a gap that means millions of young children in lower-income countries and
other vulnerable contexts are at risk of being left behind. The benefits of pre-primary
education for equity in education, for improved learning, for better health and earnings in later life and for returns on investments are undisputed, yet donor governments are failing to support pre-primary education. But commitment at government level and
greater investment by donors in pre-primary education today can put countries on
track to achieve the vision and ambitions of Sustainable Development Goal 4 by 2030.To read the full report, click here.

Aid to pre-primary education: the gap between rhetoric and reality — World Education Blog

By Professor Pauline Rose, Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge Many donors increasingly voice their recognition of the importance of pre-primary education in their education policy, but few are matching their public statements of support with tangible investment. In the last two years, aid to pre-primary education […]

Aid to pre-primary education: the gap between rhetoric and reality — World Education Blog

Accelerated Education Programming

Having developed accelerated learning programmes for young children in Vietnam and Tanzania I have witnessed the benefit of securing all children have their right to education . Many children cannot access education due to living too far away from an education facility, living in poverty, not using the language of instruction, being displaced etc.

Accelerated learning programmes can cut the cost of providing education to all and at the same time improve the quality of education.

Accelerated Education Programming: Children, families, teachers and educational stakeholders experiences of AEP in Uganda
Save the Children

In Uganda, Save the Children  has been supporting AEP for the refugee response since 2017. In 2018, Save the Children consulted AEP students, their parents, teacher and headteachers, and other stakeholders to find out their experiences and views of AEP.  The aim was to increase our understanding of the factors that support or hinder transition between AEP cycles and post-AEP opportunities, as identified by children, parents, teachers and educational stakeholders. There has been little research that has asked children their thoughts and experiences of AEP and even less capturing their thoughts on transition.

The aim of the report is to provide insight into the lived experience of education of displaced children, teachers and families. It provides guidance and insight to improve delivery of AEP programming in Uganda and contributes to a wider AEP Working Group , Education In Emergencies Working Group and wider bodies.To read the full report and executive summary, click here.