Advocacy Kit for Promoting Multilingual Education – Including the Excluded

Having worked in Vietnam for the last 4 years I realise the importance of providing governments enough hard information and research findings to base education policy which will first of all realise EFA and Millenium Development Goals but also provide meaningful learning experiences for all children.

From UNESCO as reported in the INEE newsletter:

In some countries in Asia, bi/multilingual education programmes, through non-formal education, are helping to prepare ethnic/linguistic minority learners for literacy in both mother tongue and national languages. However, there is a serious lack of recognition and understanding of the role that bi/multilingual education can play in increasing enrolment, retention and achievement in the formal school system. This kit advocates making education systems more responsive to cultural diversity. It provides important insights into the value of mother tongue-based multilingual education, which respects the rights of children and learners and encourages readers to think about the importance of language issues and to investigate them further. It builds on research findings and experiences gained over many years by many organizations and individuals working on mother tongue-based multilingual education.

This kit contains three main booklets. Each booklet has a designated audience: 1) policy makers, 2) education programme planners and practitioners and 3) community members.

This kit can be used in many different ways. For those who are already involved in MLE programmes, you might use these ideas to help you to promote mother tongue instruction and strengthen your programme.   Those who are not familiar with multilingual education but want to improve educational access for minority language students might use these booklets to identify specific points that they can investigate and discuss in their own contexts.

To access the complete toolkit click here.

And in the same vein:

On February 19th, the United Nations launched UN Language Days, a new initiative which seeks to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the Organization.

UN duty stations around the world will celebrate six new observances dedicated to a UN official language: French (20 March), English (23 April), Russian (6 June), Spanish (12 October), Arabic (18 December) and Chinese (to be determined).

The new initiative – which seeks to increase awareness and respect for the history, culture and achievements of each of the six working languages among the UN community – is part of this year’s observance of International Mother Language Day, observed annually on 21 February.

The observance of the Day will also feature a special screening of the Danish documentary In Languages We Live – Voices of the World at UN Headquarters in New York today. The film explores the world’s linguistic diversity, especially in light of the fact that half of the world’s approximately 6,500 languages will disappear by the end of the century – currently, at least one language is disappearing every 14 days.

In addition, a two-day symposium on translation and cultural mediation will open on 22 February at the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

This year, UNESCO is celebrating Mother Language Day as part of the 2010 International Year of Rapprochement of Cultures (2010), the agency’s Director-General Irina Bokova noted in her message for the Day.

For more information visit:


Global Campaign to End Violence in Schools – PLAN

Ever since the UN secretary general’s study on Violence against Children was published  organisations such as Plan International have been attempting to reduce the fear that many children have when they go to school.

Plan International has released a progress report for the Learn Without Fear Campaign.  Learn Without Fear, a global campaign to protect tens of millions of children from violence and bullying in schools, has made impressive progress in its first year. Plan’s Learn Without Fear campaign was set up to address the fact that cruel and humiliating forms of physical punishment, gender-based violence and bullying are a daily reality for millions of children. Each year, 150 million girls and 73 million boys across the world are subjected to sexual violence, and 20-65 per cent of schoolchildren report being verbally or physically bullied.  At present, almost 90 countries have not yet prohibited corporal punishment in schools.  Plan believes that every child has the right to a safe school environment and envisions a world where children can go to school in safety and learn without fear or threats of violence.

The report highlights a number developments:

  • Legal frameworks are starting to be changed through Plan’s efforts eg in Ecuador and Nicaragua, over 5.5million children are now better protected by law
  • Over 20,000 teachers and other public servants have been trained
  • Over 280,000 children have been involved in campaign activities
  • The governments of 30 countries have invited Plan to work with them to stop school violence
  • Plan has created partnerships with teachers, lawyers, police and others
  • Thousands of schools are benefitting from codes of conduct and improved school policies promoted by Plan
  • 60 countries are working actively on the campaign
  • Plan has contributed new understanding of the issues faced by children by producing 45 different sets of research across 35 countries.

For access to the full report click here.

Convention on the Rights of the Child – From Moral Imperatives to Legal Obligations

Although much progress has been made on implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) there is much to be done in terms of aligning legal systems and the laws within them, with the CRC. The report below provides more hope for realising the rights for all children.

From Save the Children -reported in the INEE newsletter

Last year was the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. To mark this important milestone, Save the Children brought together 120 high profile attendees at a conference in Geneva with the objective of mobilising civil society into taking action on the use of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a legal instrument.

The report conference report outlines summaries of key discussions with the objective to inspire creative legal strategies to realise children’s rights. Of particular interest to INEE members may be descriptions of a panel on Using Regional and International Human Rights Mechanisms to address violations of Child Rights which included a presentation on Bringing a case to a Regional Court – Case study of the Roma Children in Special Education Classes case in front of the European Court of Human Rights by Lilla Farkas, CFCF, Hungary. In addition, the report includes case studies on:

  • A strategic litigation strategy for the right to education in Ethiopia: This fictional case study was undertaken during the working group on designing a strategic litigation strategy.
  • A strategic litigation strategy on sexual violence against children in Kenyan Schools: Sexual violence in schools is an issue that has received a lot of public attention, particularly in light of schoolgirls who have become pregnant as a result of sexual abuse by teachers.

For access to the full report click here.

Education under attack? Some new reports…

Education under attack? Some new reports found in the latest INEE newsletter:

Education under Attack 2010
This document, the second global report on the subject, was released this month. The first report from 2007 was seminal in drawing attention to this crime against international humanitarian and human rights law. The new report documents the trends of attacks since 2007, highlighting a tragic rise in violent attacks over the past few years:

  • The number of attacks on schools, students and staff nearly tripled in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008, up from 242 to 670;
  • In Iraq, 71 academics, two education officials and 37 students were killed in assassinations and targeted bombings between 2007 and 2009.
  • In Colombia, 90 teachers were murdered from 2006 to 2008.
  • In Pakistan, 356 schools were destroyed or damaged in one small region at the centre of the battle between the army and the Taliban;
  • In India, nearly 300 schools were reportedly blown up by Maoist rebels between 2006 and 2009;
  • In Georgia, 127 education institutions were destroyed or damaged in the conflict that took place in August 2008;
  • In Gaza, more than 300 kindergarten, school and university buildings were damaged, some of them severely, in the three weeks of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead spanning 2008-9.

The global report defines the scope of the issue, discusses challenges of data collection and analyses the motives behind the attacks. The report also documents some of the known short- and long-term impacts of attacks on affected communities and education systems as well as some of the prevention and protection measures that have been undertaken. Finally, the report examines the response to these attacks in terms of national and international monitoring and reporting, including combating legal impunity, and makes a series of recommendations for future action including, among others:

  • International support should be given to produce comprehensive guidelines on the application of humanitarian law to the protection of education buildings, students and personnel; and on the measures that states must take to protect education systems.
  • Recognizing the limited attention paid to attacks on schools by the current Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on Children and Armed Conflict, the Security Council should demonstrate its commitment to the right to education by establishing attacks on schools as a trigger violation for UN Security Council listing of parties committing violations against children in armed conflict, requiring monitoring and reporting and time-bound action plans.
  • The international community, UN agencies and NGOs should devise strategies and campaigns to promote and fund inclusive, good-quality, learner-centred education in conflict-affected countries and establish respect for schools as sanctuaries or zones of peace.
  • Deeper research is needed into the extent and impact of attacks on education, particularly the medium and long-term impact on education systems, but also the impact on development, conflict and fragility;
  • UN agencies, NGOs and teacher unions should campaign for international solidarity with targeted groups and institutions and press for human rights instruments to be invoked to punish the perpetrators of attacks on education.
  • Education organizations should engage with the media to encourage coverage of attacks and their impact in order to improve accountability and response to attacks. This should include coverage of the long-term impact of attacks on education, education systems and efforts to achieve Education for All.

The study is dedicated to the memories of two colleagues – Dr Jackie Kirk and Ms. Perseveranda So who were both killed while working to ensure the right to education for children and youth affected by crisis.

Download the full study here.

Protecting Education from Attack: A State-of-the-Art Review
This accompanying publication presents key discussion points and 13 papers written by researchers and practitioners active in the field of protecting education from attack. The review also includes findings from an expert seminar held in Paris last year. The volume takes critical stock of knowledge on prevention and response with respect to both international law and interventions on the ground. Essays go into depth on particular elements of this phenomenon, including attacks on higher education communities and attacks against humanitarian aid workers. Several papers also deal with the debates surrounding the issue of applying and potentially strengthening the international legal provisions relating to these criminal acts.

Download the full review here.

A brochure detailing recommendations from the expert seminar is available here: ArabicEnglish;FrenchSpanish.
Other Resources
A number of resources from other organizations working on this issue are listed in the last listserv message, available here.
A short video of the author of Education Under Attack 2010, Brendan O’Malley, and the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, speaking at the launch of the publications in New York earlier this month is available here.

If you would like to become involved with the work UNESCO is helping to coordinate on this issue of Protecting Education from Attack, please email to be contacted as this important work moves forward.

Children in a Changing Climate – Lessons from Research and Practice

The CRC specifically extends to children the right to speak about their concerns as well as have these concerns listened to, climate change is already a big concern as they watch their island being affected by rising sea levels , for those children living in small island states. This policy brief ensures the important role for children is discussed and hopefully acted upon:

POLICY BRIEF: Children in a Changing Climate – Lessons from Research and Practice

(Institute of Development Studies)
A new policy brief released by the Institute of Development Studies titled Children in a Changing Climate: Lessons from Research and Practice discusses the role of children as agents for reducing climate and disaster risks within their communities.

Understanding children’s capacity to participate in decision making and take adaptive action on climate change – and their value in this process – is crucial to ensuring fair and equitable adaptation policy and programming. This briefing introduces some of the critical issues and areas of action for children in a changing climate. It captures the learning from research and practice by the Children in a Changing Climate coalition.

There is growing evidence of the ability of children to act as protagonists for action to reduce climate and disaster risks in their communities. Children have a unique perception of these risks, combining external information with their own experiences. They are also able to communicate these perceptions of risk to others to bring about changes in behaviour that will reduce risks and vulnerabilities. An improved understanding of these processes is essential to make policies and programmes sensitive to children’s needs and to create enabling environments for their participation and agency.

For access to the policy brief click here.

Strengthening the Education for All – Fast Track Initiative -policy brief

INEE has included the following in its newsletter:

POLICY BRIEFS: Strengthening the Education for All – Fast Track Initiative

(Center for Universal Education (CUE) at Brookings)

The attainment of Education for All, a Millennium Development Goal, is still far from reality. This week, the Education for All – Fast Track Initiative (FTI) Board of Directors is meeting in a special retreat in Paris to discuss important reforms that have the potential to create a more effective global education aid mechanism.

In coordination with this, the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at Brookings prepared three new policy pieces that seek to help guide the discussions at the meeting this week, particularly around strengthening FTI’s country-driven approach and its financing of fragile and conflict-affected states.

1) Education’s Hardest Test: Scaling up Aid in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, co-authored with CfBT Education Trust-UK.

2) Financing for All: How to Include Fragile and Conflict-Affected States in the Education FTI, co-authored with CfBT Education Trust-UK.

3) Many Paths to Universal Primary Education: Time to Replace the Indicative Framework with a Real Country-Driven Approach, co-authored with Steven Klees, University of Maryland-US.

Haiti now! Update and resources for taking action in emergencies.

A well coordinated response is needed in emergencies -INEE is showing the way in terms of making resources available to all those working in present emergencies and those planning for preparation in case of future emergencies.

INEE update on the situation in Haiti:
The total number of children and youth under the age of 18 affected by the earthquake is estimated to be 1.26 million.  Within that number, approximately 700,000 are primary school age children between 6 to 12 years old.  There were approximately 800,000 persons with disabilities prior to the earthquake, including 200,000 children, with an additional 194,000 to 250,000 people thought to have been injured in the earthquake.  Moreover, it is estimated that 450,000 children are displaced as a result of the earthquake, both within Haiti and in border areas with the Dominican Republic. The youth population of Haiti is also significant, though figures on the number of affected adolescents and youth have yet to be determined.

Impact on Education
In addition to the large number of school age children affected by the earthquake, high numbers of teachers and other education personnel have been killed and injured. While full data on the impact of the earthquake on the education system in Haiti is still not available, early indicators suggest that 90% of schools are damaged in affected areas and between 30-40% are damaged in indirectly affected areas. One estimate states the number of schools affected by the disaster is likely to be between 3,500 and 4,600.  The Education Cluster estimates that 3 million children are not in school.

Schools in the non-affected or indirectly affected areas officially re-opened on 1 February 2010.  However, parents are reticent to send their children to school due to fear of aftershocks and concern for their wellbeing after the stressful experiences many children and youth have witnessed.  The UN news service says that only 10% of schools in the Port-au-Prince are functional, with 40% open in the southern port city of Jacmel and other localities. It is anticipated that schooling in the affected areas will restart in March 2010 in an effort not to lose valuable time in the current school year.

Coordination and Emergency Response
“We can’t afford to waste a school year. Even if our buildings are destroyed, we can set up tents so the children who are still alive can come back to school to learn,” Louis Montespoir, Director of the Daniel Fignole School in Port-au-Prince.

The Education Cluster in Port-au-Prince, co-led by UNICEF and Save the Children, is working closely with the Ministry of Education and Professional Training in Haiti (MENFP) and is meeting regularly with representatives from around 30 agencies, including the MENFP, UN agencies, NGOs, and the private sector. Within the Education Cluster, working groups have been established to address early childhood development, psychosocial support, disaster risk reduction, early recovery, curriculum, capacity development, construction, and media and communication. The Education Cluster is also liaising closely with the Child Protection Sub-Cluster and the Psychosocial and Mental Health Coordinator to ensure that critical linkages between education, psychosocial well-being and protection are made in the response and recovery efforts.

Initial work has identified five priorities for the Education Sector:

(1)   opening of schools in non-affected areas and affected areas (foreseen during March 2010);
(2)   temporary schooling and planning for reconstruction of school buildings both in affected and non-affected areas;
(3)   psychosocial support for teachers and from teachers to learners;
(4)   support to education authorities and administrators tasked with the national coordination of the response and the eventual reconstruction of the system
(5)   needs assessment and analysis to gain a fuller picture and to inform medium to longer-term planning.

In consultation with the MENFP, the Education Cluster is in the process of developing a full strategy and implementation plan for the next six months. Notes from Cluster meetings can be found on the Haiti Education Cluster OneResponse webpage here.

Needs Assessment
A team from MENFP has conducted a rapid audit of damage to the education sector, the results of which are due to be available in the coming days. The Education Cluster shared tools and expertise in support of the the MENFP assessment. . A follow-up Joint Rapid Needs Assessment by the Education Cluster will begin shortly with a focus on immediate needs within a 45 day window, in order to determine needs for the resumption of schools and establishment of? safe learning areas.. This exercise will build on the data collected by the MENFP and will feed into a planned Post-Disaster Needs Assessment.

The Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) is being led by the Government of Haiti and supported by planning partners including the UN, European Union, World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. The PDNA is due to begin in March and will look comprehensively at the recovery needs of all major sectors, including education sector. The MENFP will provide a dedicated focal point to support the PDNA, and the Education Cluster will contribute by sharing data, supporting the design of data collection tools, and participating in the analysis of the findings.

Strong support for all phases of the needs assessment process is critical; organisations are urged to make resources available at country level in the areas of data collection, entry and analysis; logistics; and technical support. Immediate support is needed over the next four weeks. For further information or to offer support, please contact Charlotte Lattimer, Global Education Cluster Knowledge Management Advisor, who is supporting the coordination of assessment

The first Flash Appeal for Haiti is now 96% funded. After a slow start, Education is 85% funded having received $19,692,824 of the total $23,050,000 requested. A revised Flash Appeal is currently being finalized, and it is anticipated that the revised needs for the education sector will total approximately $80 million, based on projects from 11 appealing agencies in Haiti and 5 appealing agencies in the Dominican Republic.

The target launch date for the revised Flash Appeal is 17 February and it is expected that Bill Clinton will be leading the launch. Continued advocacy is essential to ensuring that the needs of the education sector are met in this second phase of appeals. The Global Cluster Unit has developed an advocacy brief, available here. For any comments or further information please contact Colette Murphy:

Information, Advocacy and Resources
Below you will find a number of tools, resources and guidance documents. We encourage those of you working on issues related to the Haiti response and recovery to review and draw upon these where relevant. Please also refer to the resources provided in the last listserv message[LINK], which included the INEE Minimum Standards and the INEE Guidance Notes on Safer School Construction.

In addition, please note that the INEE Blog has three opinion pieces relating to issues of concern in Haiti:

Please take a look, comment, and suggest additional resources that might be useful for colleagues working to ensure children and youth affected by the earthquake in Haiti have access to safe and quality education.


INEE Secretariat

Relevant Tools, Resources and News Stories

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

IASC Guidance Note for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support:  Haiti Earthquake Emergency Response – January 2010
In addition to the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, the IASC Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group has issued a Guidance Note with specific information relevant for those responding in Haiti. Click here to download this document.

Mental Health in Haiti: A Literature Review
Please find attached a literature review commissioned by the World Health Organisation on what is known about mental health in Haiti before the earthquake. This work was undertaken by McGill University: Laurence Kirmayer and colleagues. WHO recommends this paper as essential reading for any non-Haitian working on mental health and psychosocial support after the earthquake in order to avoid harm, ineffective programming or unnecessary information gathering. Download the documenthere.

Child Protection

GUIDELINES: Child Protection Working Group Guiding Principles: Unaccompanied and Separated Children Following the Haiti Earthquake, January 2010
Even during emergencies, all children have a right to a family and families have a right to care for their children.  Unaccompanied and separated children should be provided with services aimed at reuniting them with their parents or customary care-givers as quickly as possible.   Interim care should be consistent with the aim of family reunification, and should ensure children’s protection and well-being. These principles address key messages and considerations for preventing separation; ensuring identification, tracing and family reunification is prioritized; and facilitating interim care, alternative care and adoption where necessary. Download here.

MANUAL: Handbook on Child Friendly Spaces in Emergencies
Save the Children
This comprehensive handbook provides guidance on a range of issues including establishing Child Friendly Spaces, key activities, monitoring and evaluation and transition and exit. It is available inEnglish and French.

RESEARCH: Emergency Safe Spaces in Haiti and the Solomon Islands
By Josh Madfis, Daryl Martyris and Carl Triplehorn
This paper explores the impact and effectiveness of Safe Spaces interventions for children within two Save the Children emergency responses in 2007: the Republic of Haiti and the Solomon Islands. Click here to download.


Gender Equality in Disasters: Six Principles for Engendered Relief and Reconstruction
The Gender and Disaster Network urges all actors responding to the Haitian earthquake to adopt a gender-responsive approach that builds on women’s capacities and resources while reflecting the gender-specific needs of women and men, boys and girls. We offer these resources for planning and advocacy and a better understanding of the need for gender-aware approaches to disaster risk management. Available in English and soon in Creole.

Gender ABC in the Haiti Emergency
Provides a quick three step “how to” on addressing gender issues in Haiti, including practical instructions of ways to integrate gender in the various sectors of disaster re sponse. Available inEnglishFrenchSpanishCreole.

Gender Briefing Kit for Field Staff
Contains information on gender relations in Haiti before and after the earthquake as well as contact information for key women’s organi zations in Port-Au-Prince. Download here.

Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Flyer
A list of necessary measures hu manitarian aid must take into account to prevent exploitation and abuse of women and girls. Also contains links to other prevention resources. Available in English andFrench.


Key Guidance on Persons with Disabilities and the Humanitarian Response in Haiti
This brief produced by the Women’s Refugee Committee in January is available in CreoleFrench andEnglish.

INEE Pocket Guide to Inclusive Education
This Pocket Guide is for anyone working to provide, manage or support education services in emergencies, and offers practical actions that stakeholders in education in an emergency can take to improve inclusion. Download this document in English here. A French version will soon be available.

Lessons Learned Documentation

ALNAP’s Haiti Learning and Accountability Forum – click here.

ALNAP’s ‘responding to earthquakes’ lessons paper – download here.

ALNAP’s lessons paper on ‘responding to urban disasters’ – download here.

Overseas Development Insititute blog on the Haiti catastrophe: lessons learned from previous disasters – click here.

IRC summary of lessons learned and essential questions for the Haiti earthquake, January 2010- download here.