In the latest Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies Bi-Weekly Bulletin INEE (December 2009 Volume 1) there is reference to an excellent UNICEF resource for trainers/teachers who are involved in education programs in emergencies.
Here is the introduction to the resource:
In order to strengthen its efforts to promote psychosocial support within educational programming in emergencies, UNICEF has developed teacher-training materials to promote greater understanding of the impact of and effective responses to the psychosocial impact of emergencies on learners. The aim of this training is to improve the psychosocial well being of children in emergency environments. However, vulnerability is something many children experience in their developmental stages of growth and learning, so the skills learned during this training can be utilized by all teachers in the everyday classroom context. Over the course of the training, teachers will be exposed to innovative thinking and discussion whereby they will be able to implement identified goals and plans in order to provide a psychologically and emotionally safer environment for all children in their
This manual is grounded in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Taskforce (IASC) Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (MHPSS), which outline appropriate minimum responses and standards for psychosocial support and mental health in emergencies. In addition, this manual promotes the standards set forth in the INEE Minimum Standards.
Initial pilot sessions of the training have shown that maximum results are achieved when the approach to psychosocial support by teachers is mainstreamed into the school curriculum and extra-curricular activities. There may be significant relevance to school counsellors as well, though the materials may require some adaptation for their training. Providing exposure to the content for administrators and other school personnel helps to ensure acceptance and sustainability of the programme, as well as a consistency of approach throughout the school system. The materials are oriented towards experienced teachers who already possess strong teaching skills. Shortened or modified versions of the training should be developed to meet the differing needs and capabilities of education personnel other than skilled teachers.
For access to the manual please click here.
The resource is a comprehensive 5 day facilitation guide, and would be useful for all teacher trainers, not just those working in emergency contexts, as it is important to consider children’s psychosocial well being no matter where they live.