Curriculum Development – new Training Tools

Most countries are still trying to grapple with implementing an inclusive education policy, this pack provides tools to  develop a better understanding between the theory and practice of inclusion.

Training Tools for Curriculum Development
International Bureau of Education 

Resource Pack
The IBE series of Training Tools for Curriculum Development: a Resource Pack is designed to support Member States with regard to education and curriculum reforms and development processes. Drawing on international research evidence on ways to promote inclusion and foster greater fairness, it is intended to influence and support inclusive thinking and practices at all levels of an education system.

Specifically, ‘Reaching Out to All Learners: a Resource Pack for Supporting Inclusive Education’ intends to share this broader understanding of the theory and practice of inclusive education to support its effective implementation at the school and classroom levels.

It provides comprehensive guidance for national policy makers, curriculum specialists and developers, teachers, teacher educators, school leaders and district level administrators.

Click here to download the resource pack.

Sustainable Development – a resource bank

This blog tries to reach out and find suitable education resources,  so here is another opportunity to discover new resources by using the new UNESCO Clearinghouse on Education for Sustainable Development.

Clearinghouse and Resource Bank on Education for Sustainable Development  
UNESCO 

Clearinghouse and Resource Bank 

UNESCO has just released a Clearinghouse on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), containing important information, news, events, good practices and links around the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP). It aims to serve as an online platform to share knowledge, experiences and competences of the ESD global community of practice.
The Clearinghouse comes with a comprehensive Resource Bank, gathering hundreds of ESD publications, videos, photos and other documents from all over the world. With an interface in English, French and Spanish, it is designed to help create synergies and cross-cutting collaboration through access to a wide selection of resources.

Click here to access the Clearinghouse.

Click here to access the Resource Bank.

IIEP – a new Learning Portal

There are plenty of opportunities to access learning material, but sometimes it takes too long to trawl through a range of disconnected sites. The new IIEP Learning Portal is worth a visit if you are an education planner and decision maker or an education practitioner -particular with an eye on the quality of education.

IIEP Learning Portal
IIEP

We are pleased to announce the launch of the IIEP Learning Portal, an interactive platform designed to help decision-makers and education practitioners plan for quality education and improved learning outcomes in the post-2015 era.

The IIEP Learning Portal responds to the needs of education planners, policy-makers, civil society actors, and funders throughout the world, by offering:

  • Brief summaries of the research on 25 ways to improve learning,
  • An overview of each step involved in creating a plan for learning improvement,
  • Tools and approaches to monitor learning and put the data to use,
  • A weekly blog and a daily selection of news articles on learning from around the world,
  • Ways to learn about major controversies and participate in e-Forum discussions,
  • glossary of key terms and a chance to ask a librarian to help you find the resources   you need,
  • More than 1,000 resources in a searchable database including research and reports on efforts to improve learning, sample policies, current debates and a wide range of experiences on learningissues.

We invite you to visit the new portal – http://learningportal.iiep.unesco.org/ – join the community (subscribe to our newsletter and connect on Twitter and Facebook) and discover how you can participate and benefit from its many resources on educational planning for improved learning.

Questions? Contact.learning@iiep.unesco.org

Girls’ education

During the last few years I have been working on aspects of Girls’ education in Zambia and Tanzania. We know the importance of a focus of attention on girls education for the future of any country so as to overcome discrimination and to enhance  human potential of the whole nation.

Why a focus on girls?

Two-thirds of the world’s uneducated children are girls, and two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. Around the world, girls and women continue to suffer from a lack of economic opportunity, inadequate health care and education, early marriage, sexual violence, and discrimination.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that educating women and girls is the single most effective strategy to ensure the well-being and health of children, and the long-term success of developing economies.

There are many benefits associated with girls’ education, such as:

Reduction of child and maternal mortality

Improvement of child nutrition and health

Lower birth rates

Enhancement of women’s domestic role and their political participation.

In education, a focus on the quality of education of girls ensures an improvement in the quality of education for all students.

Some new posts from the INEE newsletter:

Community-Supported Models for Girls’ Education in Diverse Contexts in Pakistan

Brookings.

Paper
This paper presents the case for promoting girls’ education in the challenging contexts of remoteness, social conservatism, fragility, and severe financial hardship by providing localized services delivered through community-supported initiatives, contextualized approaches, and flexible strategies. This argument draws from the latest literature on community-supported education, barriers to girls’ education, and the role of nongovernmental actors, as well as the author’s research on three community-supported schooling models in three different contexts in Pakistan: 1) in a state of fragility; 2) in a socially conservative area experiencing social resistance to girls’ education; and 3) in an urban slum area.

 

WASH in Schools for Girls E-Course 
UNICEF, UNGEI, Emory University, Govt. Of Canada

Publication 
The WinS4Girls E-Course was developed and delivered as part of the project ‘WASH in Schools for Girls: Advocacy and Capacity Building for MHM through WASH in Schools Programmes’ (WinS4Girls Project), which is being funded by the Government of Canada. In recognition of the positive impact on girls’ education, initiatives around the world are addressing adolescent girls’ menstrual hygiene management (MHM) needs in coordination with ongoing efforts to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities and services in schools. By offering an alternative to the stigma and marginalization often associated with menstruation, integrating MHM into WASH in Schools (WinS) empowers all students, especially girls.

Click here to download the publication.

School Readiness – a formula for equity?

After a slow start early childhood education is now picking up a pace, with more governments increasing their pre-school provision, through a mixture of state and private investment.

What is only recently being recognised is that there are still many children not being able to access pre-school provision through living too far from the school, living in poverty, being a girl whose domestic responsibilities prevent her from starting school at the correct age, and those who are not ready to start primary school because their mother tongue is not the language of instruction.

At primary level if the language of the learner is different from the teacher they are less likely to succeed and more likely to fall behind -the teacher may not be trained to work bilingually and may not have the patience or resources to differentiate their teaching for their diverse class.

What is also certain, those children living in disadvantaged families, including those living in poverty, will not receive the cognitive stimulation at home which will support their brain development. Once these children start some distance behind other children they are likely to fall behind their peers, may have to repeat grades and eventually drop out or be too old to continue due to the pressure of early marriage,for example, in the case of girls.

If we are to improve equity -what can we do to ensure that all children start formal schooling ready to learn in a context which can be rather intimidating to many young learners?

The formula has to be RC+RF+RS=RC , where R=Ready, C=Community,F=Family, S=School and C= children.

This approach is having benefits in Tanzania where the GoT/EQUIP-Tanzania initiative on School Readiness is being piloted.

dodomapuppets

Community Teaching Assistants presenting their teaching aids made from local materials

 

More news on this initiative coming quite soon.

 

 

 

Disadvantage at the Starting Gate: Early Childhood Education in Pakistan

Source: Disadvantage at the Starting Gate: Early Childhood Education in Pakistan

By Huma Zia Faran, Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), Pakistan.

ASER1The recent upsurge in research on the development of a child’s brain underscores the need for greater attention to early childhood care and education, especially in developing countries. Studies (Cunha et al., 2006, and Heckman et al., 2010) reveal how a child’s brain develops at a surprisingly rapid rate during the early years thereby laying foundations for lifelong development. Early childhood education helps level the playing field for disadvantaged children as they enter primary school, empowering them to be confident and successful in later education and employment.

The recently agreed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on education, that Pakistan has committed to, makes reference to the importance of early childhood education:

Goal 4.2: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education

Being part of such global education commitments and following Article 25-A of Pakistan’s Constitution on the Right to Education, Pakistan included at least one compulsory year of early childhood education in its National Education Policy and developed a National Curriculum for Early Childhood Education (ECE). However, the ECE goals were farfetched. By the end of 2015, ASER Pakistan found that the proportion of children between 3-5 years who were out of school was 61% in rural areas and 42% in urban areas. In rural areas, 51% of early childhood provision is public, compared to 58% in urban areas.

Evidence from ASER shows that Pakistan faces a two-fold challenge – access to early childhood schooling and the long lasting effect it has on the learning abilities of a child.

**

In Tanzania, the situation may be seen as similar in that many rural children do not have access to pre-primary education, may not be taught in their mother tongue when they reach primary school and this fact alone starts to explain the low achievement at grade 3 – so the effects are immediate and long lasting. More on this on other blog posts such as here.

COP 21 – More on Education and climate change

Why universal secondary education can help fight climate change

Not only have climate scientists agreed that humans are contributing to climate change, but recent evidence also points out that the rate of warming is happening much faster now than it ever has before.  This is why, at the UN Climate Conference in Paris this month, world leaders are seeking to reach a new international agreement on climate change, essentially to keep global warming below 2°C (or 3.6°F). Rising temperatures pose threats on food and water security, infrastructure, ecosystems and health and, as a previous blog on this site shows, increases the risk of conflict. With an upsurge in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and the potential for rapid sea level rise, both mitigating human-related exacerbation of climate change, and adapting to its devastating effects are key priorities. This is where education comes in.

Both mitigation and adaptation require technological, institutional and behavioural responses. Correspondingly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted the value of a mix of strategies to protect the planet, which combine policies with incentive-based approaches encompassing all actors from the individual citizen, to national governments and international communities. Because, while national and sub-national climate action plans are fundamental, changing individual behaviour also lies at the heart of responses to climate change.

At the individual level, barriers to the adoption of mitigation and adaptation measures include a lack of awareness and understanding of climate change risk, doubt about efficacy of one’s action, lack of knowledge on how to change behaviour and lack of financial resources to implement changes. Accordingly, there are many sound reasons to assume that different education strategies can help overcome these barriers both in direct and indirect manners.

First, directly formal schooling is a primary way individuals acquire knowledge, skills, and competencies that can influence their mitigation practices and adaptation efforts. Schooling provides a unique environment to engage in cognitive activities such as learning to read, write, and use numbers.

indo_school

Students in Indonesia learn about living with nature. Credit: Nur’aini Yuwanita Wakan/EFAReport UNESCO

As students move to higher grades, cognitive skills required in school become more progressively demanding and involve meta-cognitive skills such as categorization, logical deduction and cause and effect. This abstract cognitive exercise alters the way educated individuals think, reason, and solve problems. Indeed, experimental studies have shown that higher-order cognition improves risk assessment and decision making. These are relevant components of reasoning related to risk perception and making choices about mitigation and adaptation actions.

more here:……

By Raya Muttarak, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW and WU), and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria.