EBOLA : don’t panic – educate!

There is a dichotomy at present in the reaction to the EBOLA virus –are we doing enough in West Africa or are we developing a panic syndrome, so much so that inaction takes over…

From the latest INEE newsletter

Launch of the Ebola Communication Network

Ebola Communication Network

On October 8th, the Ebola Communication Network (ECN), was launched. The ECN is an online collection of Ebola resources, materials and tools from and for the global health community. The ECN  is populated with more than 120 resources, including not only SBCC materials like posters, brochures and infographics, but also Demographic and Health Surveys of affected regions, customized maps and peer-reviewed journal articles. The site is responsive to mobile devices and optimized for low bandwidth situations. It includes an RSS feed of Ebola-related news that is updated in real time.

ECN’s faceted search allows users to find materials based on language, type (e.g., public service announcements, posters, and fact sheets), topic (e.g., prevention, treatment, safe burial practices), audience (e.g., community health workers, governments, health care providers) and any other facets deemed necessary. Those working in the fight against Ebola can use ECN to search and share resources, and help build the collection by uploading quality communication materials they have developed for use in the field.

To use the Ebola Communication Network, click here.

Ebola’s Impact on Children and Education
Child Protection Working Group

With inputs from education, the Child Protection Working Group has developedtwo short documents on how children are affected by Ebola.

In Liberia and Sierra Leone it was decided not to open schools for the new school year in August 2014, and the Ministries of Education have not yet made any recommendations as to when schools might reopen. In Guinea and Nigeria it has been proposed to open schools in October, though, the probability of this happening everywhere is uncertain. For example, in Nigeria many school administrators decided to postpone reopening due to attacks on schools, teachers strikes and because many schools have not been equipped with post Ebola kits. As a consequence of the epidemic millions of children of school going age are not able to attend school in these four countries.

Click below to access the Child Protection Working Group’s two short documents:

Conflict Sensitive Strategies in Education

Conflict sensitive education refers to the design and delivery of education programs and policies in a way that considers the conflict context and aims to minimize the negative impact (contribution to conflict) and maximize positive impact (contribution to peace).

Update from INEE

Incorporating Conflict Sensitive Strategies into the INEE-Education Cluster EiE Training Package

This document has been added to Module 0-Guidance and Time Tabling in order to incorporate a conflict sensitive component to the INEE-Education Cluster EiE Training Package. The purpose of this document is to help workshop facilitators highlight conflict sensitive education (CSE) strategies relevant to the topics of the modules in the training package. Only the modules most relevant to CSE strategies are included. The text is drawn from the INEE Guidance Note on Conflict Sensitive Education, specifically the Quick Reference Tool.

More information regarding the CSE Pack can be found on the INEE Toolkit and the INEE Website. CSE Training Materials are also available here. The complete INEE-Education Cluster EiE Training Package and supporting resources can be found on the INEE Toolkit or the INEE Website
It is worth exploring the difference between conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding-
Peacebuilding and Conflict Sensitivity: Is there a difference?
Collaborative Learning Projects

We use these words a lot and they mean different things to different people. Does the difference matter? How does the difference shape the way we deliver social programs in conflict affected contexts? Researchers Peter Woodrow and Diana Chigas answer these questions and more in their paper, “A Distinction With a Difference: Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding.”

Quality and Inequality – Blog Action Day 2014

Yes it is Blog Action Day 2014.




Lets start with a vid:


Why quality? I am thinking about the quality of education -how it is denied to so many children and how good quality education could improve the chances of many and thus reduce inequalities.


Gender inequality


Food and inequality..

Only now are we considering taking malnutrition seriously :

some facts:

More than three million children under the age of five die annually of malnutrition, the UN food agency and World Health Organisation said on Thursday, urging governments to tackle the problem.

“Malnutrition is responsible for about half of all child deaths under five years of age, causing over three million deaths every year,” the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.

Some 162 million children are left stunted by chronic malnutrition and 99 million children are underweight across the world, it added.

Since the first international conference on nutrition in 1992, “important advances in the fight against hunger and malnutrition have been made, but this progress has been insufficient and uneven,” FAO head Jose Graziano da Silva said.

There has only been a 17 percent reduction in undernourishment since the early 1990s, leaving over 840 million people still chronically undernourished.

The FAO and WHO urged governments to “make stronger commitments… to ensure healthier diets for all” at an international conference on nutrition to be held in Rome in November.

They warned that various forms of malnutrition often overlap and can coexist within the same country and even within the same household.

“Around 160 million children under five are stunted or chronically malnourished, while over two billion people suffer one or more micronutrient deficiencies,” they said in a statement.

“At the same time, another half billion are obese.”

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the aim of the upcoming conference was to get governments to ask themselves “why is it that severe undernutrition and obesity can exist side by side in the same country and in the same community?”

She also called for more research into the health and environmental implications of “the rapid rise in the demand for meat and other animal products that coincides with rising income levels.”

Efforts to improve food and nutrition security continue to be hampered by low political commitment and weak institutional arrangements, the agencies said.


Inequalities abound – who gets water, shelter, access to nutritious food, quality education and health services seem to be dependent on where you were born -or is it more to do with power relationships?

Although I enjoy studying history, the rationale for studying history is spelt out as ‘so that we can learn from the past’ If this is correct , why do we continue to make the same mistakes whether it is to do with conflicts (Wars etc) or distribution of resources ? The strong (politics or wealth related) seem to always have the upper hand and inequalities seem to have to exist, otherwise the powerful lose their strength.

Quality and Inequality

UNICEF has provided food for thought when considering quality dimensions of education:

Children have a right to an education, a quality education.
Quality education includes:
Learners who are healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate and learn, and
supported in learning by their families and communities;

Environments that are healthy, safe, protective and gender-sensitive, and provide
adequate resources and facilities;

Content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for the acquisition ofbasic skills, especially in the areas of literacy, numeracy and skills for life, and knowledge in such areas as gender, health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace.

Processes through which trained teachers use child-centred teaching approaches in
well-managed classrooms and schools and skilful assessment to facilitate learning
and reduce disparities.
Outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and are linked to
national goals for education and positive participation in society.
This definition allows for an understanding of education as a complex system embedded in a political, cultural and economic context.

In all aspects of the school and its surrounding education community, the
rights of the whole child, and all children, to survival, protection,
development and participation are at the centre. This means that the focus is
on learning which strengthens the capacities of children to act progressively
on their own behalf through the acquisition of relevant knowledge, useful
skills and appropriate attitudes; and which creates for children, and helps
them create for themselves and others, places of safety, security and healthy
interaction. (Bernard, 1999)

I wonder how far this definition can be applied to areas of conflict where children are often either used in conflicts (e.g. child soldiers) or their schools become targets of aggression or they become ‘collateral damage’ in civil wars.

CRIN has reported on recent documentation of some of the recent misuse and abuse of children:

Attacks on education

Targeting schools and schoolchildren is a grave violation of children’s rights. Even in times of war, schools and hospitals must remain safe places for children to learn and develop.

But in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, children have been forced to study outside school buildings since 21 September when rebels took control of the city and occupied a number of schools, after a few days of brief but bloody fighting.

The Houthis, Shiite rebels, now control almost all state buildings, from the airport and the central bank to the Ministry of Defence.

The Houthis have fought the Yemeni government forces and pro-government tribal fighters through six rounds of fighting since 2004 from their stronghold in Saada, north of Sanaa. In 2011, they took complete control of Saada province.

Their takeover of the capital threatens to provoke a violent backlash from Sunni militants belonging to al-Qaeda. Last week, an al-Qaeda suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a hospital used by the Houthis, killing one person. The group, known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, vowed to fight the rebels and called on other Sunnis for support.

A suicide bomber struck again on Thursday, killing at least 42 people,including several children, apparently targeting a Houthi checkpoint. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The death toll was expected to climb further, with many of those wounded in serious or critical condition.

The Houthis have signed an agreement to end the fighting, mediated by UN envoy Jamal Benomar. The accord stipulates the withdrawal of their forces from Sanaa once a new prime minister is named. But president Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has so far failed to name the new premier.

In Syria, at least 39 people, 30 of whom were children between six and nine-years-old, were killed in twin bombings outside a primary school in the government-controlled city of Homs last week, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The blasts happened as the children were leaving the school, said an official from Homs.

The UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, condemned the bombings and called on all parties to the conflict to end such attacks and for perpetrators to be brought to justice.

According to Ms. Zerrougui’s office, attacks on schools and hospitals have become a feature of the Syrian conflict and deprive millions of children of their right to education and health.

Since 2011, over three million children have dropped out of school and thousands of schools inside Syria have closed their doors because they have been destroyed, damaged, or are now used for military purposes or as shelter for families forced to abandon their homes.

Also on Syria, an American-led intervention targeting the Islamic State was launched last month. Human Rights Watch reported a US missile strike that killed at least two men, two women, and five children, urging the US government to investigate the attack for possible violations of the laws of war.

Legal battle over the recruitment of children in the UK

The UK is one of just 19 countries in the world – and the only country in the European Union – that still recruits 16-year-olds into its armed forces. The others include Bangladesh, El Salvador, Iran, and North Korea.

Child Soldiers International (CSI) will call  for a judicial review into the terms of enlistment for minors joining the British Army.

Although minors have a right to be discharged before their 18th birthday, after this point the so-called “Catch-22” clause commits them to serve until they are at least 22 years old, regardless of their age when they joined. This means the youngest recruits have to serve for longest. Lawyers acting for CSI claim this constitutes unlawful age discrimination in employment conditions.

Call for perpetrators of grave crimes to be brought to justice

A group of human rights organisations* urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to send investigators to the Central African Republic (CAR), and called on the UN peacekeeping mission to help set up a special court in the country.

CAR’s President, Catherine Samba-Panza, officially asked the ICC in June to launch an investigation into crimes committed in her country since 2012.

In August, the UN and the CAR government signed a memorandum of understanding to create a Special Criminal Court (CCS) with both international and Central African judges. But the court can only be set up after CAR’s transitional parliament (CNT) passes a specific law.

CAR has been in a state of crisis since Seleka rebels seized power in 2013 in a campaign marked by widespread killing, looting and destruction. In mid-2013, groups of so-called ‘anti-balaka’ (anti-machete) organised to fight the Seleka, committing grave atrocities, with accounts of ethnic cleansing reported earlier this year.

The violence in CAR has forced about one million people to flee their homes. Most Muslims now live in Seleka-controlled areas in the north and east of the country, creating a de facto partition.

Elections meant to complete a return to democracy are due to be held in February. But amid continuing violence, officials in the country believe the polls will be delayed.

*The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Central African Human Rights League (LCDH) and Central African Human Rights Monitor (OCDH).

Unexploded ordnance kills two children in Ukraine

Two children were killed and five were injured in rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine last week when they tried to move an unexploded shell. The incident late Friday occurred in Zugres, a town about 30 kilometres east of Donetsk, the largest city controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

Children are particularly vulnerable to landmines, cluster munitions and unexploded ordnance in a number of ways. These devices sometimes look like toys and children are likely to pick them up out of curiosity. The Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor reports that since 2004 explosive munitions left behind during armed conflicts have been shown to consistently cause the greatest percentage of child casualties in 31 countries (64%) (See footnote no.5 for the list of countries).

Children attacked on all fronts in Afghanistan

The victims of the current Afghan conflict are primarily children. According to the UN Secretary General’s Report on Children and Armed Conflict, in 2013, more than 1,700 children were among the 3,000 civilian casualties- a 34 percent increase from 2012.

As reported by a spokesman for UNICEF in Afghanistan, the UN has documented 97 cases in which combatants recruited children, some as young as eight.

A report by Al Jazeera tells the story of Moheb, 12, who was forced to become a suicide bomber by his uncle, a Taliban commander. His uncle forced him to wear a suicide vest last year and instructed him on how to blow himself up next to a convoy of foreign troops. He was thrown out of his home when he failed to ‘accomplish’ his mission. He now lives in a government-run orphanage.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said that although officially there are no children in the Afghan army and police, they continue to be recruited by local authorities because of inappropriate recruitment mechanisms. Read the full story.

US military aid to governments using children as soldiers

The US passed a groundbreaking law in 2008 that prohibits the country from giving several forms of military assistance to governments using child soldiers. Its intention was to use a powerful incentive – withholding US military training, funding, and weapons – to influence governments to stop using children in their military forces.

The Obama administration identified nine countries this year where children are still recruited, but announced that only three would be barred from US military assistance. For the other six, Obama used his presidential authority to give partial or complete waivers.

Yemen, for instance, may receive $25 million in US military financing in 2015, with no strings attached. The country signed a UN agreement in May to end its use of child soldiers, but is a long way from eliminating the problem.

For Somalia, where the UN documented nearly 1,300 cases of child recruitment in 2013, including hundreds by the Somali National Army and its allied militias, the administration gave Somalia a full waiver as well, allowing it to receive  $115 million.

In an analysis of this year’s waiver of the law, Jo Becker, Children’s Rights Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch, notes that the administration’s actions should match the words of its ambassador to the UN pronounced in a meeting of the UN Security Council on children and armed conflict two weeks ago: “perpetrators have to be held accountable. Groups that fail to change their behavior must be hit where it hurts.”

Not a single child untouched by the recent Gaza conflict

According to Makarim Wibisono, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, there is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bedwetting, difficulties sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behaviour at school.

At the end of his first mission to the region, Wibisono expressed alarm at the terrible cost paid by Palestinian civilians, especially children in Gaza, as a result of Israel’s military operation that lasted 50 days in the summer of this year.

According to a press release on his findings, the latest round of violence from 7 July to 26 August 2014 has left 1,479 civilians dead, including 506 children. He added that 11,231 Palestinian civilians, including 3,436 children were injured, many of whom are now struggling with life-long disabilities. Tens of thousands of children live with the trauma of having witnessed the horrific killings of family members, friends, and neighbours before their own eyes.

“In the 50 days of relentless bombing and shelling, 228 schools in Gaza were damaged, including 26 destroyed or damaged beyond repair,”according to the press release.

Thousands killed in South Sudan

Thousands have been killed and nearly two million have fled their homes since the war broke out last December in South Sudan. Oxfam and other agencies have warned that an expected upsurge in violence could wipe out recent gains in food security and push the number of hungry people up by a million in the first three months of 2015.

Nearly 100,000 people are crammed into UN compounds across the country for their own protection, often in inhumane and unsanitary conditions.

At present, 5,660 children have been registered as missing in South Sudan and only 393 reunited with their families.

What began as a political power struggle last December quickly assumed an ethnic dimension, pitting President Salva Kiir’s Dinka tribe against militia forces from the former vice-president Riek Machar’s Nuer people.

Economic self-interest is also fuelling the conflict. A report last month by the Enough Project noted: “The country’s competing privileged elites are sacrificing their own people’s lives to secure the political and economic benefits – including massive state-corroding corruption – derived from control of the state.”

So  inequality between groups, tribes, political and religious affiliations, means that children, who are once again the ‘powerless’ have to suffer.

For Blog Action Day:

  • Follow the live coverage on October 16 and 17Visit our website www.blogactionday.org or our Facebook page  and take a look at the  posts that grab your attention.
  • Search for #BAD2014,  #Inequality #BlogAction14 on social media and “Blog Action Day” on google to connect with other Blog Action Day participants.

(not Columbus Day) Indigenous People’s Day ?

What a shame that Columbus Day is still ‘celebrated’   – after anhialating many of the indigenous peoples in both North and South America, further humiliation is heaped on those who are left, by celebrating a notorious historical figure.
Things to Do to Commemorate Indigenous Peoples
on Columbus Day


Christopher Columbus arrived as an immigrant to “the New World.” He did not “discover” America. He was not a hero, he was a war criminal. Columbus Day is not necessary and increases division in this age of growing inequalities.

For the first time this year, Seattle and Minneapolis will recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day.  The cities join a growing list of jurisdictions and schools choosing to shift the holiday’s focus from Columbus to the people he encountered in the New World and their modern-day descendants. We can all take example from these cases and take action for change. #AbolishColumbusDay #IndigenousPeoplesDay

1. Watch and Share Reconsider Columbus Day by NuHeightzCinema  


Reconsider Columbus Day
Reconsider Columbus Day

2. Celebrate Indigenous Leaders
Columbus Day is obsolete. This year, we are joining First Peoples Worldwide in celebratingIndigenous Leaders Day. We think it’s time to celebrate Indigenous accomplishments, Indigenous leaders, in our Indigenous voices. Ditch Columbus Day, celebrate Indigenous Leaders Day.

  • Nominate your favorite Indigenous leader. Send an email to communications@firstpeoples.org stating your leader’s name, accomplishments, tribal affiliation, community in which they work, and why they inspire you. Be sure to include a picture.
  • Share your nomination on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #IndigenousLeaders
  • Change your social media profile and cover photos to:



3. Recognize and Remember Indigenous Leaders Who Have Been Murdered

Today take the opportunity to recognize and remember Indigenous leaders who have been murdered and disappeared while doing work to defend the lives of their families and their environment. There are too many to even count, like Daniel Pedro Mateo from Guatemala.


4. Take Action by Getting Involved in the Native Anti-mascot Movement
There are still more than 1,000 high school, university and professional teams that continue to have Native American mascots. Though changes have been made at the high school and college levels, at the professional level there has been virtually no change. Start the change in your community. Check out our Abolishing Racist Native Mascots: A Toolkit for Change.

5. Read and share these great articles:

6. Learn about the American Precolonial Roots of Democracy.

American democracy was founded on the principles of The Great Law of Peace founded by the Haudenosaunne People (Iroquois) in the Northeast. Read more.


Take a look at Rethinking Schools –

Educators – Get a copy of their excellent ‘Rethinking Colombus”

rethink columbus

Summary of Rethinking Columbus

Why rethink Christopher Columbus? Because the Columbus myth is a foundation of children’s beliefs about society. Columbus is often a child’s first lesson about encounters between different cultures and races. The murky legend of a brave adventurer tells children whose version of history to accept, and whose to ignore. It says nothing about the brutality of the European invasion of North America.

We need to listen to a wider range of voices. We need to hear from those whose lands and rights were taken away by those who “discovered” them. Their stories, too often suppressed, tell of 500 years of courageous struggle, and the lasting wisdom of native peoples. Understanding what really happened to them in 1492 is key to understanding why people suffer the same injustices today.

More than 80 essays, poems, interviews, historical vignettes, and lesson plans reevaluate the myth of Columbus and issues of indigenous rights. Rethinking Columbus is packed with useful teaching ideas for kindergarten through college.

In this New Edition:

  • Updated resource listings
  • Classroom materials
  • Handouts and lesson plans
  • Poems
  • Web site listings
  • And much more!

First published in 1991, Rethinking Columbus has changed the way schools teach about the “discovery of America.” This greatly expanded edition has more than 100 pages of new material, including handouts to conduct a classroom “Trial of Columbus” and other activities.



“The original edition made educational history by introducing a startling new view of Columbus … In the revised edition we get even richer material, a marvelous compendium of history, literature, original sources, commentary … an exciting treasure for teachers, students, and the general public.”

Howard Zinn, author A People’s History of the United States

World Teachers’ Day – 5 October 2014

As a teacher, let me wish all others within the profession around the world -“Happy World Teacher’s Day”.

Having just returned from working with teachers in Zambia -it is a privilege to work with teachers who , though having to work under very difficult conditions (132 in one class with few resources!) still manage to try to get the best for their students.

World Teachers’ Day – 5 October




UNESCO and its partners are preparing for the 20th anniversary of World Teachers’ Day, 5 October 2014, which commemorates the adoption of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendations concerning the Status of Teachers.

This year, at UNESCO HQ there will be a two-day forum (Monday 6 – Tuesday 7 October, 2014) bringing together teachers, researchers, experts (including UNESCO Chairs and university professors), students, representatives from teacher training institutes, education and teacher organizations, and specialized media.

An open forum titled “Teaching today” will also take place in order to provide as much discussion between speakers and participants as possible.  The forum will include four parallel participative workshops including: Teachers’ living and working conditions, Teachers’ continuous professional development, How ICT can support teacher training, and Pedagogical innovations in education.



Quality education needs qualified teachers03 October 2014

Data shows standards being sacrificed to fill teacher shortage gap

In the rush to fill the chronic, global shortage of teachers many countries are sacrificing standards  and undermining progress by hiring people with little or no training, concludes a new UNESCO policy paper, published on World Teachers Day 2014.

Prepared by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR), it shows that at least 93 countries have an acute teacher shortage, and need to recruit some four million teachers to achieve universal primary education by 2015.

If the deadline is extended to 2030, more than 27 million teachers need to be hired, 24 million of whom will be required to compensate for attrition, according to UIS data. At present rates, however, 28 (or 30%) of these 93 countries will not meet these needs. Sub-Saharan Africa faces the greatest teacher shortage, accounting for two-thirds of the new teachers needed by 2030. The problem is exacerbated by a steadily growing school-age population

“A quality universal primary education will remain a distant dream for millions of children living in countries without enough trained teachers in classrooms,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. “Teachers are the core of any education system. Hiring and training new and already established teachers is fundamental to protecting children’s ability to learn in school.’

Under pressure to fill gaps, many countries are recruiting teachers who lack the most basic training. According to UIS data, in one-third of countries with data, fewer than 75% of primary school teachers were trained according to national standards in 2012. In Angola, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and South Sudan, this figure falls below 50%. As a result, in roughly a third of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the GMR shows that the challenge of training existing teachers is greater than that of recruiting new teachers to the profession.

“Putting well-intentioned instructors in front of huge classrooms and calling them teachers will not deliver our ambitions to have every child in school and learning,” said Aaron Benavot, director of the EFA Global Monitoring Report. “We have prepared a new Advocacy Toolkit for teachers to help us relay these messages to their governments. Teachers, better than anyone else, can relay how teacher shortages and a lack of training are making it just about impossible to deliver a quality education”

Countries must ensure that all new teacher candidates have completed at least secondary education. Yet the GMR shows that the numbers of those with this qualification in many countries are in short supply: eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa would have to recruit at least 5% of their secondary school graduates into the teaching force by 2020. Niger would need to recruit up to 30%.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the cost of paying the salaries of the additional teachers required by 2020 totals an extra US$5.2 billion per year, according to UIS projections, before counting for training, learning materials and school buildings. With the greatest number of children out of school in the world, Nigeria alone will need to allocate an extra US$1.8 billion per year.

“The good news is that most countries can afford to hire the extra teachers if they continue to steadily increase investment in education,” said Hendrik van der Pol, director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. “Over the past decade, education budgets across Sub-Saharan Africa have been growing by 7% in real terms, reflecting the commitment to get more teachers and children in classrooms. However four countries will need to significantly increase their education budgets if they’re to cover the bills and provide training to new recruits: the Central African Republic, Mali, Chad and Malawi.

– See more at: http://en.unesco.org/news/quality-education-needs-qualified-teachers#sthash.VDkPWqOZ.dpuf

International Day of the Girl Child – 11 October 2014

Having just returned from Zambia, it is frightening to find the pressures on girls just to fulfil their right to education ,let alone a quality education or even a life without being abused or discriminated against before they are 18. Work with the boys too, of course, but an improvement in the life of many girls will bring benefits for all.

Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights”

-United Nations Resolution 66/170

International Day of the Girl Child – 11 October

“Girls face discrimination and violence every day across the world. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.” 

This year, the theme is “Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence”. – See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/girl-child#sthash.vvoIda3E.dpuf

Just two years ago, the UN declared October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world.  It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.The fulfillment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is also overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves.

For more information on UNICEF’s initiatives and activities for the Day, click here.


“There is … overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves: it is the one consistent positive determinant of practically every desired development outcome, from reductions in mortality and fertility, to poverty reduction and equitable growth, to social norm change and democratization.”


Though life for the girl child is steadily improving, many are still subjected to horrific practices, such as female genital mutilation, son preference – often resulting in female infanticide – as well as child marriage, sexual exploitation and abuse. Girls are also more likely to experience discrimination in food allocation and healthcare, and are often outpaced and outranked by boys in all spheres of life. The Girl Child was also one of the 12 critical areas of concern raised in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Actionin 1995, concluding in nine strategic objectives framed as a means of holding governments accountable for girl’s rights. – See more at: http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/in-focus/girl-child#sthash.r5P7EfLH.dpuf


Some data and info

Key messages

  • 31 million girls around the world are denied their right to education and school girls are attacked just for trying to go to school
  • Education works. Educated girls are healthier, live longer, earn more, and are more likely to escape poverty and exploitation
  • Education increases opportunities and choices for families – helping eliminate child marriage and other forms of exploitation. No girl should be denied and education

Facts about girls and education

  • 31 million girls are out of school.Girls Rise #UpForSchool
  • Every year a girl stays in school increases her earning potential by 10-20%.
  • Ghana has made great progress towards the Millennium Development Goal target to get every child in school by 2015. The rate of primary school enrolment grew by more than 20% between 2004 and 2013, bringing more than 270,000 girls into
  • education.
  • Almost a quarter of young women aged 15-24 today (116 million) in developing countries have never completed primary school.
  • 2.1 million lives of children under 5 were saved between 1990 and 2009 because of improvements in the education of women of reproductive age.
  • Evidence shows that investments in education clearly contribute to better health outcomes. A child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five than a child born to an illiterate mother. Education mothers are better informed about specific preventable diseases and illnesses such as diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria, leading killers of children



Infographic courtesy of UNICEF, Every Woman Every Child and UN Global Education First Initiative. – See more at: http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/in-focus/girl-child#sthash.JUH2d4TB.dpuf

From 2013 (UNICEF):



and child marriage?

In Tanzania you can find parents who threaten teachers so as to get their daughters to fail the end of primary leaving exam so that they do not go on to secondary education and get married early. Any choice for them? Apart from cultural issues, helping to get the parents out of poverty may help allow some girls more choice in their futures.


From INEE:

Some things you can do on International Day of the Girl
  1. Sign and Share the #UpForSchool petition at www.upforschool.org
  2. Share a new report by Plan International highlighting The State of the World’s Girls 2014
  3. Act now and donate to the first Child Marriage Free Zone in Pakistan #EndChildMarriage
  4. Share the film: Rise #UpForSchool Now

Global Events:
A list of global events celebrating the IDGC can be found here.

Other resources and articles:

And for further inspiration:

Congratulations to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their struggles for the rights of children and young people, including the right of all children to education!

Conflict Sensitive Education


From the INEE newsletter:

Conflict Sensitive Education

INEE Conflict Sensitive Education Training Materials

The development of the INEE Conflict Sensitive Education Training Materials was a collaborative, inter-agency effort based on input from an expert reference group and feedback from over 50 pilot trainings in over 20 countries. Based on the CSE Pack, these materials have been created to support the integration of conflict sensitivity in global education policies and programs. The 90-minute and 2-day CSE training materials are available in English, Arabic and French on the INEE Toolkit here.

Find more information on CSE and on the INEE CSE Pack here


‘Development in Reverse’? A Longitudinal Analysis of Armed Conflict, Fragility and School Enrollment
Comparative Education

This paper presents a longitudinal analysis of cross-national data on armed conflict, state fragility, and enrollment in primary and secondary schooling. The study is motivated by questions raised in the 2012 Human Security Report, which challenges the widely held assumption that conflict is necessarily detrimental to educational outcomes. The study uses multilevel modelling techniques to determine how conflict and fragility relate to changes in enrollment. Our findings suggest that growth in enrollment is significantly lower in conflict-affected countries but that the effect is dependent upon countries’ overall enrollment level. However, when we control for fragility, the effect of conflict is not significant, which is consistent with the Human Security Report’s suggestion that fragility is an underlying cause of both conflict and poor educational outcomes.

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Conflict Sensitive Education

It’s a fact: education is a right. This right is documented in the Millennium Development Goals, the Education for All Goals, and other international agreements, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

However, in conflict-affected and fragile states, we know that this right to education is not being realized. Globally, there are 58 million out-of-school children in primary school. One half of these children live in conflict-affected states. (UNESCO, UIS, EFA-GMR 2014) Thirty-three percent of the 20 million out-of school adolescents in the world live in conflict-affected states. (EFA-GMR 2013)

Education, and the way it’s implemented, can reinforce, exacerbate and prolong conflict. How? One example is history textbooks that perpetuate myths, stereotypes, or biases against certain groups.

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The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education