Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Education

The Syrian civil war has created one of the largest and most intense episodes of human suffering of the early twenty-first century. The uprising against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which began in March 2011, was widely recognised as part of the ‘Arab Spring’ that saw popular uprisings against dictatorships in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt. When the rebellion began it was limited to relatively small, local skirmishes, but as the fighting has intensified so the numbers of internally displaced people and refugees have risen sharply. Turkey, which shares a 900-kilometre border with Syria, began receiving refugees in small numbers in…
The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) is a global, open network working to ensure people’s right to a quality education and a safe learning environment in emergencies and recovery situations. The INEE Minimum Standards, released in 2004, constitute the first global tool to define a minimum level of quality for humanitarian assistance in the education sector and complement the Sphere Project’s Minimum Standards in Disaster Response. In 2009, INEE began updating the Minimum Standards to reflect developments in the field of education in emergencies, incorporate feedback received over the previous five years of implementation and mainstream 11 cross-cutting…
The massive earthquake that hit Haiti on 12 January 2010 had a devastating impact on the education sector. Eighty percent of schools – almost 4,000 – were damaged, and an estimated 1.26 million children and youth were affected; large numbers of teachers and other education personnel were killed and injured.[1] In relation to more obvious lifesaving sectors such as food, shelter and health, education typically struggles to achieve visibility and funding within an emergency response operation. In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, however, education was accorded a surprisingly high priority. Given the scale of the disaster and the…
Child-friendly spaces are widely used by many agencies working in emergency situations or in areas of continuing crisis to provide temporary activities and support for children. They are recognised by UNICEF as a key child protection strategy. As well as aiming to protect children, such spaces can also foster child development. This article describes Tearfund’s use of child-friendly spaces in its programme in Darfur. Tearfund’s Darfur programme In January 2005, Tearfund began providing child-friendly spaces in highly volatile Beida Locality, south-west of Geneina in Darfur. The programme started in response to requests from the local community for additional support to…
In December 2004, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) launched a handbook entitled Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies, Chronic Crises and Early Reconstruction. Modelled on the Sphere Project, the Minimum Standards are both a handbook and an expression of commitment that everyone, young or old, has a right to education during emergencies. This article describes the use of the standards to develop education and child protection responses in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami in Aceh. About the Minimum Standards The Minimum Standards were developed with the participation of over 2,250 individuals from more than 50 countries…
Conflict can have a devastating impact on children’s education. Formal and non-formal education structures are corroded, communities displaced and fragmented and educational inputs threatened. Maintaining a sufficient educational corps, recruiting educators and ensuring that they are properly trained and remunerated becomes a challenge; physical structures may also be affected, and may not be safe environments for learning. This combination of factors may significantly reduce the quality of education offered to learners. In rebuilding education systems in a post-conflict situation, there is a unique opportunity to approach the process in an integrated manner. Rebuilding is typically undertaken in a piecemeal fashion,…
Refugee relief is typically thought about in the acute stages of a crisis, when water, sanitation, housing, security and disease threaten lives. Because assistance in such circumstances focuses on keeping people alive, relief is often described as an apolitical humanitarian project. But refugees by their very nature are the products of a struggle over power and authority – that is, a product of politics. Nowhere is this more evident in relief programmes than in the provision of schools. Basic schooling has emerged as a humanitarian ‘right’, just like water, sanitation, food, security and shelter. Yet education programmes for refugee children…
Wars and natural disasters deny generations the knowledge and opportunities that an education can provide. Education in emergencies, chronic crises and early reconstruction is a necessity that can be both life-sustaining and life-saving. It sustains life by offering structure, stability and hope for the future during a time of crisis, particularly for children and adolescents. It also helps to heal bad experiences and build skills, and supports conflict resolution and peace-building. Education in emergencies saves lives by directly protecting against exploitation and harm, and by disseminating key survival messages, such as landmine safety or HIV/AIDS prevention. Traditionally, education in emergency…
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. It is characterised by political instability, violence, intense international attention and media scrutiny and unprecedented amounts of aid. The occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) has become exceptionally aid dependent, receiving around $1 billion a year, or on average $315 per capita. But despite this, conflict and occupation, particularly in the last few years, have severely constrained Palestinian development, to the point where some social indicators in the OPT are comparable to parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, there is widespread agreement amongst assistance providers that, in the current conditions of…
A workshop hosted by the Association of African Universities (AAU) was held in Accra, Ghana in June 1999. It brought together seven African universities in the process of establishing, or planning to establish, graduate programmes in the humanitarian and refugee field. Other participants included representatives of UN agencies and UK and US humanitarian researchers/academics. It is hoped that this initiative will result in the provision of encouragement and support to these universities as they develop courses in this field. One of the points that emerged from the workshop was the need for the universities to establish good links with humanitarian…
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