Where to find hope….

In these days, pessimism fills the media – so where do we find stories of hope for a better future?

Start here:

The Brightest Hope blog series

This once-a-week blog series features essays from the Education in Emergencies Essay Contest, which was organized by INEE and the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative. INEEreceived 720 essay entries from 52 countries in four languages, from authors between the ages of seven and 68. Twelve of these essays made it into the final contest booklet entitled “The Brightest Hope“, and we will feature them in this blog series.

Common in all of the essay submissions from crisis-affected learners was a strong desire and an unyielding drive to continue or get back to education as quickly as possible. INEE works to increase awareness of the necessity and benefit in providing education alongside other lifesaving measures in humanitarian settings, and to elevate the voices of those whose education has been affected by emergencies.

Read the first two blog posts in the series now.

Education Cannot Wait

Education Cannot Wait

Introducing Education Cannot Wait a new global fund to transform the delivery of education in emergencies.

75 million school-aged children and youth are in desperate need of educational support, either in danger of, or already missing out on their education. Communities highlight the importance of education during times of crises, yet education appeals receive less than 2% of humanitarian funding. The right to education is most at risk during emergencies but it is also the exact time when it is needed the most.

Education Cannot Wait joins up governments, humanitarian actors, and development efforts to deliver a more collaborative and rapid response to the educational needs of children and youth affected by crises. The fund aims to reach all crisis-affected children and youth with safe, free and quality education by 2030.

Click here to read the full investment case for education in emergencies.

Visit www.educationcannotwait.org for more information.

Posts that deal with access to education for children living in rural and isolated areas in Tanzania:




The State of the World’s Girls 2015: Unfinished Business

From INEE newsletter

Progress yes, but is it enough to make sustainable change?

Plan International 

There have been important changes in the lives of adolescent girls and their access to education since the millennium, but the world still has a long way to go in the struggle for gender equality. The 2015 State of the World’s Girls report brings together 14 prominent contributors who hail progress made in realising girls’ rights, but lament the fact that girls still face huge challenges.

This is a threshold moment, the contributors write, where the gains made in maternal mortality, female education and legal protection under the umbrella of the Millennium Development Goals can be built upon by the Sustainable Development Goals, which have gender equality at their centre. But they stress that without economic empowerment and equitable education, no further gains can be made.

The Unfinished Business of Girls’ Rights is the ninth report in Plan International’s annual State of the World’s Girls series. It is available to read in English, French, and Spanish. All the previous reports are available on the Plan International website.

Click to download the report.

Still under attack…education

INEE has promoted new reports on evidence that education is continually under attack. As mentioned before (personal comment not INEE)  education should at least benefit from a tax on weapons producers ,likened to ‘polluter pays’ arguments. A weapons producer should be taxed at a rate that allows a fund to be raised to ameliorate the effect on children who suffer from the profits made by arms manufacturers.Auseful discussion to have on the International day of Peace!

Schools under Attack in Syria
Global Education Cluster

Since February 2015, the Southern Turkey Education Cluster partner organisations have been reporting to the cluster staff attacks on the schools they are supporting or located in the areas where they are implementing activities. The Southern Turkey Education Cluster is releasing its first monitoring report Schools under Attack in Syria which provides a snapshot of the situation of schools in Syria. The report does not provide an exhaustive list of all attacks on schools which took place in the first half of 2015, but it highlights the devastating consequences of such attacks on Syrian children’s right to education.

Click here to read the full report


Education under Attack in Syria
Save the Children

More than half of all attacks on schools in the last four years have occurred in Syria, according to analysis by Save the Children. Between 2011 and the end of 2014, the UN Secretary General reported 8,428 attacks on schools in 25 countries, with 52% of these reported to have taken place in Syria. Since the start of 2015, Save the Children research has documented at least 32 attacks in Syria, but lack of access to many areas means the total number is likely to be much higher. This new Save the Children study brings to light how schools inside Syria have been indiscriminately bombed, destroyed, commandeered by armed groups, or turned into weapons caches or torture centers.

Click here to read the full report.


Education under Fire

A new report by UNICEF Education under Fire focuses on conflict and political upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa and its impact on education. Over 13 million children are prevented from going to school due to direct or indirect conflict in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, State of Palestine, Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The report focuses on some of the barriers to education caused by conflict including attacks on schools and education infrastructure, fear of safety keeping parents from sending their children to school, overburdened education systems, lack of security for teachers, high costs of schooling and curriculum and certification issue.

Click here to read the full report.


Education and Armed Non-State Actors: Towards a comprehensive agenda
Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC)

This background paper prepared by Jonathan Somer of Persona Grata Consulting has been commissioned by PEIC to inform and orient the deliberations of the Workshop on Education and Armed Non-State Actors (Geneva, 23-25 June 2015) organized by PEIC and Geneva Call. I believe that the background paper is a pioneering work that lays out for the first time a clear frame of reference for better understanding the role of ANSAs in the provision of education. The background paper combines consideration of the international normative framework with strategic and operational issues that affect not only ANSAs themselves but also international actors concerned with education in situations of emergency, conflict and insecurity. Key questions are posed that constitute an agenda for both reflection and action.

Click here to download the full paper.

Quality learning begins with teachers….

Even though we may still not have full agreement on what constitutes quality in education, we know that a skilled teacher , who is committed to all children learning well, no matter what their background or staring point may be, will be a treasure in any community.

Quality learning begins with teachers
Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education

The new post-2015 education agenda should challenge us to accept that no goal can be considered met, until it is met for all. Inequity, discrimination and barriers to education must be eliminated. Achieving equity in education will require a focus on access and learning outcomes, aimed at the hardest to reach children. This goal is about quality, and the quality of an education system cannot rise above the quality of the teachers that stand in the classroom.

Click to read the full article.

and considering professional development for teachers:

4 Barriers to teachers’ professional development in fragile contexts
Mary Burns, senior technology specialist and professional development specialist, Education Development Center (EDC)

Teachers in fragile and crisis contexts face enormous barriers to quality professional development. This is not news to most readers. But what are these barriers and how can we begin to address or reverse engineer professional development? This post outlines some of these obstacles. Most of the information in this post is taken from research and from the discussions that informed the publication of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) guide, Where it’s needed most: Quality professional development for all teachers.
Of course we want quality PD -but in many rural areas there may be no professional development, at all, unless teachers sign up for further study for promotion purposes.
What is needed is school based professional development facilitated by an experienced teacher, who has status in the school and is provided time to observe and  mentor fellow teachers.Reflective teaching approaches should be normal rather than rare.

Education and children, under fire – continuously!

Malala recently reminded us that just 8 days of global military spending could ensure all children are in school and receiving a level of quality in their education -too much to ask for? The military rarely has to go round with a begging bowl, but for health and education we are always expecting some sort of charitable hand out. It seems our brains are not evolving if we regard war as more important than health and education (and we could also throw in shelter and clean water as a couple more basics for all children).

INEE has brought together some articles that are food for thought -and hopefully action.

The War on Education

16 June 2015

by Silje S. Skeie, Special Advisor on Education at the Norwegian Refugee Council

2015 marks the year when all children should have been in school, according to the Millennium Development Goals. However, 58 million children are still out of primary school, and half of them live in countries affected by conflict.

At the same time: Never before have so many children been harmed, kidnapped or killed simply for going to school. Military use and attacks on schools have devastating impact on children’s access to education. Making schools safe must be a key priority on the post-2015 agenda.

Click to read the full article.

$2.3 billion required to send children to school in war-torn countries

29 June 2015

from Education For All Global Monitoring Report

A new paper by UNESCO’s Education For All Global Monitoring Report (EFA GMR) shows that 34 million children and adolescents are out of school in conflict-affected countries. The most vulnerable are the hardest hit: the poorest are twice as likely to be out of school as their counterparts in peaceful countries. The paper shows that $2.3 billion is required to place them in school – ten times the amount that education is receiving from humanitarian aid right now.

Click to read the full article.

Education in emergencies: world leaders told how to help 65 million children

23 June 2015

from A World at School

World leaders will be asked to consider a plan to tackle the lack of education action and funding for 65 million children caught up in conflicts and emergencies. With heads of government, education ministers and international organisations gathering at a summit in Norway next month, four major recommendations have been devised to meet the challenge.

The UK-based think tank Overseas Development Institute warns that millions of children are missing out on school, dropping out or receiving poor-quality education because of wars and conflicts, natural disasters including earthquakes and floods, and public health emergencies such as Ebola.

Click to read the full article.

and of course, when children do get to school, such is the lack of understanding about the needs of children, they are often subjected to violence and humiliation…

The Good School Toolkit for reducing physical violence
The Lancet
The Good School Toolkit for reducing physical violence from school staff to primary school students: a cluster-randomised controlled trial in Uganda
Violence against children from school staff is widespread in various settings, but few interventions address this. We tested whether the Good School Toolkit—a complex behavioural intervention designed by Ugandan not-for-profit organisation Raising Voices—could reduce physical violence from school staff to Ugandan primary school children.

Day of the African Child

Day of the African Child 2015

As I am in Tanzania working on School Readiness and the improvement in teacher performance it is pertinent for me and others to celebrate all those efforts of getting children to participate in education of sufficient quality that will help all children to flourish and be resilient in the face of future challenges.

The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16th every year since 1991, The day commemorates the 1976 South African-Soweto uprising, during which hundreds of black school children in the Soweto Apartheid regime were brutally gunned down while protesting the inferior quality of their education.

The Day of the African Child provides an opportunity to draw attention to the work of all actors committed to the rights of children on the continent of Africa and to address the obstacles preventing us from realizing these rights. The day also presents the opportunity for governments, international institutions and organizations to renew their ongoing commitments toward improving the plight of children in Africa.

On this day, we want to draw attention to the continued need for improvements in education for African children. According to UNESCO, Africa is home to 43% of the world’s out-of-school primary age children, and most of the 30 million children who are out of school in sub-Saharan Africa will never go to school at all.

On a continent where millions of children subsist on less than 1 euro per day, education represents a way out of poverty for many. Education also helps fight the spread of diseases, improves children’s health, and promotes peaceful and inclusive societies. Further, it promotes confidence and cohesion, and is essential for the psychosocial well-being of children, especially during times of conflict.

A few excerpts from INEE’s recent essay contest give voice to the importance of education among children in Africa:

“Education meant “peace” to me during this period [of crisis]. It felt like a safe word that kept the evil away. It was the only thing that took my mind off it all. No matter what the subject was, it didn’t matter to me. Even if it was Chemistry which I found boring, it felt like all the subjects said the same things: “Peace” “Keep calm” and “Safety”. — Jephthah, Nigeria
“Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that if I was to be successful in life, I had to go to school.” — Ivy, Kenya
“In difficult times, education allows the younger generation to forget the pain and suffering they experienced. To those who are victim of crisis and who are vulnerable, education opens their future to new opportunities.”
— Mahikan Desire, Ivory Coast (living in Liberia)

“[Education] made us useful in the society, rather than making us useless. That is to say, we lost everything we had (homes, parents, relatives, friends, even food), but education was not lost, because it is the key to a happy life.”
— Gompou, Ivory Coast (living in Liberia)

To read the complete essays from these African children and others from around the world, download the booklet: The Brightest Hope: Essays from around the world on the importance of education in times of crisis