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On World Teachers Day, three educators share their unique perspectives | Back... - 0 views

  • NEW YORK, USA, 4 October 2011 – As school enrolment continues to climb throughout most of the developing world, the roles teachers play in our lives have become even more crucial. Tasked with providing a quality education to our current generation of students, teachers also have a significant hand in shaping the future by instilling in children essential cultural and social values such as tolerance, gender equality and open dialogue. Despite the heavy responsibility placed on their shoulders, in many parts of world they are rewarded poorly and in some countries even subject to deadly attacks.
  • This Wednesday will mark the annual celebration of World Teachers’ Day, and to commemorate the event, UNICEF’s podcast moderator Femi Oke spoke with Jamila Marofi, a high school teacher from Afghanistan, Gorma Minnie, a school administrator from Liberia and Professor Fernando Reimers from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in America.
  • Professor Reimers went on to highlight the need to provide educators with the proper training before and during the school year as well as creating an environment conducive to effective teaching.
Teachers Without Borders

UNICEF - At a glance: Occupied Palestinian Territory - UNICEF provides support to Pales... - 0 views

  • DKAIKA, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 29 September 2011 - Located just 70 metres away from the Green Line - the 1949 Armistice Line – in Israeli-controlled Area ‘C’, the villagers of Dkaika are forced to suffer under the daily risk of home demolition and harassment.
  • UNICEF provides support to Palestinian students through rehabilitation and psychosocial sessions

    By Monica Awad

    DKAIKA, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 29 September 2011 - Located just 70 metres away from the Green Line - the 1949 Armistice Line – in Israeli-controlled Area ‘C’, the villagers of Dkaika are forced to suffer under the daily risk of home demolition and harassment.

  • Despite these efforts, a newly added classroom was knocked down a few months later, right before the eyes of 15 students who were forcibly moved out just minutes before the walls caved in.
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  • Rana Najadeh, 12, recalled her horror as she bore witness to the destruction. “I got very scared when the soldiers came to demolish our class,” she said. “I rushed out to check on my six year old brother Suleiman, who was crying.”

    The demolition did not end there, however, as nine other residential structures were also destroyed that day, leaving 30 children and their families homeless. 

  • Thankfully, UNICEF and Islamic Relief Worldwide took action to address the tragic situation, by rehabilitating the school and providing a better environment for the students. In addition, UNICEF partnered with both the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO), to help the traumatized children find relief from their fear and anger by providing psychosocial sessions through dance, drama, arts and play.
    • amic Relief Worldwide took action to address the tragic situation, by rehabilitating the school and providing a better environment for the students. In addition, UNICEF partnered with both the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO), to help the traumatized children find relief from their fear and anger by providing psychosocial sessions through dance, drama, arts and play.

      “Sometimes for children it is simply the opportunity to play and have fun – be a child – in a safe environment,” said UNICEF Deputy Special Representative, Douglas G. Higgins. “In the end, the psychosocial project is important for children to have a sense of stability, normality and opportunity to reach their potential.”

      Dkaika children are not the first ones to receive help however, as UNICEF has worked with ECHO since 2003 to help Palestinian children and their families cope with the conflict and violence that affects their daily lives. The activities focus on children who live in areas exposed to frequent home and school demolitions, as well as young Bedouins and children with disabilities.

      “We must not fail Dkaika children,” said the Deputy Special Representative. ”Education is the cornerstone for peace and security and is at the heart of equity.”

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    Teachers Without Borders

    UNICEF - At a glance: Liberia - Liberia rebuilds education system after years of civil war - 0 views

    • GANTA TOWN, Liberia, 16 September 2011 – War, bullets and bloodshed – words which generations of Liberians are still more familiar with than books or schools. It’s only been eight years since the country knew peace; the scars from its paralyzing 14-year civil war remain visible as its people try to heal. Today, the government is working to rebuild the infrastructure that was completely destroyed – large parts of Liberia doesn’t have roads and millions are living without basic access to water, healthcare or electricity. But ask any Liberian what they need most and the answer is the same – education
    Teachers Without Borders

    UNICEF - Kyrgyzstan - Over a year later, children return to rebuilt school in post-conf... - 0 views

    • OSH PROVINCE, Kyrgyzstan, 1 September 2011 – Hundreds of children from Shark village have settled down in the new Tolstoy School following a year-long journey.

      After the civil strife that struck Osh Province in June 2010, when their school was burned down, they studied in tents. Then, when winter came, they shared classrooms of the hospitable Sharipov School nearby. Now, they finally they have come back to their home village to attend a newly built school.

    • “I had to convene parents six times before they were convinced that it would be safe to let their children go to Sharipov School,” said Tolstoy School director Muradil Moidinov. “UNICEF supported minibuses, which went from house to house to collect children in the mornings and bring them back after school.”

      Mr. Moidinov promised the students and parents that a new school would be built. He refused to let the children be dispersed among other Osh schools. “It would have been impossible. The nearest schools are so far away. We are very thankful to UNICEF for all the great support they provided,” he said.

    • The new Tolstoy School’s opening was long-awaited in a community that has seen its share of hostility between people of different ethnic backgrounds. For their part, students still remember the old school warmly. “It was like home” said Muazam Mamadjanova, 15.

      To make the new building more like home, children have brought in pots of flowers to adorn the windowsills. They are also planting flowers in the beds near the school entrance. In autumn, they plan to plant trees as well.

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    • “I am afraid that in two or three years, we won’t have enough space for all the children,” he said. “I plan to have another building built in the backyard.” Students also hope for additional opportunities for extra-curricular activities and, in particular, languages courses.
    Teachers Without Borders

    UNICEF warns of education crisis in Somalia :: U.S. Fund for UNICEF - UNICEF USA - 0 views

    • The assessment, which was carried out last week, indicates that with the movement of an estimated 200,000 school-age children who have migrated to urban areas or across the border due to hunger, the gross primary school enrolment of 30% could plummet even further.  This is likely to be compounded by an acute shortage of teachers and an increase in demand for education services in areas where influxes of internally displaced people have been the greatest, such as in Mogadishu. 
    • "Education is a critical component of any emergency response," said Rozanne Chorlton, UNICEF Somalia Representative.  "Schools can provide a place for children to come to learn, as well as access health care and other vital services. Providing learning opportunities in safe environments is critical to a child’s survival and development and for the longer term stability and growth of the country."
    • Already, most of 10,000 teachers across the southern and central regions are dependent on incentives paid through the support of Education Cluster partners. Results indicate that in Lower and Middle Juba as well as Bay regions, up to 50 percent of teachers may not return to the classroom when schools reopen. 
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    • more than $20 million will be needed to carry out the plans.  Funding received to date is inadequate, and funding gaps in the education sector have reached their highest levels in the last four years.
    • Support is urgently needed to establish temporary learning spaces in camps for the internally displaced, support additional classroom space to accommodate new learners in host communities where people have migrated, provide water and sanitation facilities, provide school kits of essential education and recreational material to 435,000 children, provide incentives to 5,750 teachers and strengthen the Community Education Committee’s involvement in schools.
    • "After decades of neglect and lack of funding, the educational opportunities for school-aged children in Somalia are already dire, so it is imperative that we do everything we can to make sure the situation does not get worse,” said Chorlton.
      NEW YORK (August 10, 2011)- With an estimated 1.8 million children between 5-17 years of age already out of school in southern and central Somalia, a rapid assessment conducted by the Education Cluster, in ten regions, warns this number could increase dramatically when schools open in September unless urgent action is taken.

      The assessment, which was carried out last week, indicates that with the movement of an estimated 200,000 school-age children who have migrated to urban areas or across the border due to hunger, the gross primary school enrolment of 30% could plummet even further.  This is likely to be compounded by an acute shortage of teachers and an increase in demand for education services in areas where influxes of internally displaced people have been the greatest, such as in Mogadishu. 
    Teachers Without Borders

    UNICEF - Afghanistan - In Kabul, the Government of Japan funds new classrooms to improv... - 0 views

    • KABUL, Afghanistan, 5 July 2011 – New classrooms, chairs and desks mean better education at Shirino High School, one of the schools renovated and refurbished with funds from the Government of Japan as part of its ‘1,000 Classrooms’ initiative.
    • There were lots of problems last year, our students were sitting outside in the sun and they didn’t have a classroom,” recalls Shirino High School Headmistress Qamar Hadi. “There were no chairs or tables for the students.”
    • With new classrooms, the number of children enrolled in school has increased and retention rates have improved
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    • Kabul’s rapidly growing population has led to a severe shortage of classrooms and overcrowding in schools. In 2010, most schools in the city were teaching students in three shifts with up to 60 students per class.
    • “In the new classrooms, we are more comfortable than in the old ones,” says Akil, 14. “Now we have a chair for each student. Before, there was one chair for three students and it was very tiring. This new building is very good for us.”
    • Other improvements to create a safe, healthy and hygienic learning environment include boundary walls, recreation areas, water points and separate latrines for boys and girls. Providing a safe, attractive and sanitary environment is important for improving the enrolment and retention of girls, as studies and experience in numerous countries have shown.
    • The principles of child-centred learning have been taught to more than 3,000 teachers in workshops conducted by UNICEF. The workshops give teachers the skills needed to ensure that lessons focus on each child’s ability, stimulate his or her interest and participation in classroom activities, and deal with the child’s problems.
    • In addition, UNICEF runs workshops for student representatives and community committees to encourage their involvement in managing local schools. The results of school improvements are already starting to be seen.
    Teachers Without Borders

    UNICEF - Pakistan - Pakistan flood crisis, one year on - 0 views

    • PUNJAB, Pakistan, 3 August 2011 – “Before the floods, this village had a one-room Masjid [mosque] school. Most of the children sat under a tree. We now have this beautiful school, and the children love it,” says Mukhtar Ahmad, Headmaster of the Government Primary School in Mullanwala village, located in the Muzaffargarh District of Pakistan’s Punjab Province.
    • Last year’s unprecedented floods in Pakistan forced the bulk of the population in Mullanwala to relocate to safer areas. When the floodwaters receded and people returned, they discovered that not a single structure in the village was standing – not even the one-room Masjid school.
    • Now, a year after the floods, the TLC has turned into a transitional school housed in semi-permanent buildings. As part of its initiative to quickly improve education facilities for flood-affected children in Pakistan, UNICEF plans the construction of 500 such transitional schools by December 2011. Indeed, the process is already under way.
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    • Its teachers use a ‘child-friendly’ approach to schooling that takes the needs of the whole child into account – including needs for protection, recreation, safe water and sanitation, and more.
    • “Before the floods, I used to go to a one-room school,” recalls Shahbaz. “When the floods came, we moved to high ground in Muzaffargarh. When we returned after the floods, our school had been destroyed. Then we got a tent school, books, bags and everything else. Later, they made us this school building.”
    • “Teaching without corporal punishment is something new in this environment,” she notes. “Since children don’t get beaten up in school, parents are also learning that physical punishment is detrimental to a child’s upbringing.”
    Teachers Without Borders

    In Somalia, UNICEF constructs classrooms and trains teachers for children dis... - 0 views

    • “You can’t compare what we have now with how it used to be. Now we have good space for the children to learn, we have classrooms and furniture, toilets and hand-washing facilities.” says Mr. Odol.

      There are now 305 children – 234 of them girls – enrolled at the small school. It runs two shifts, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, to accommodate the increasing number of students. The effect has been startling.

      “Children are learning better now. We have a better environment and enrolment has doubled because children prefer to spend their time in school,” says Mr. Odol.

    • Although the incentive he receives is not much, Mr. Odol says that he will keep teaching in his community. “I want to continue to teach these children, my children,” he says. “I hope that the children I teach will grow up to know how to help themselves and their families.”
    • UNICEF is constructing classrooms, training teachers, supplying learning and teaching materials and school uniforms, and distributing vouchers to families to ensure that children are released to spend time in school instead of working to support their families. UNICEF is also providing financial incentives for teachers.
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    • NICEF is helping to pay incentives to over 1,100 teachers across Somalia,” says UNICEF Education Officer Salad Dahir.

      At Shabelle School, each child has a complete set of textbooks and learning materials that have been provided with UNICEF support.

    Teachers Without Borders

    Education: an enduring casualty of war | Back on Track - 0 views

      In the Kailahun district of Sierra Leone, burned out buildings and bullet holes serve as a constant reminder of a turbulent and horrific past. This remote eastern border area was one of hardest hit by Sierra Leone's brutal civil war. It was just south of Kailahun, in the village of Bomaru, where rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) first crossed into the country from neighbouring Liberia, marking the start of the conflict. Education was one of the early casualties of war- schools were destroyed and teachers were among those who fled the area.
    Teachers Without Borders

    UNICEF - Côte d'Ivoire - Children struggle to access basic education as schoo... - 0 views

    • BOUAKÉ, Côte d’Ivoire, 9 March 2011 – Since last November’s disputed presidential election, many schools in Côte d’Ivoire have remained closed. There are now nearly 800,000 children waiting to get back to learning.
    • The impact could be long-term. “This school year is seriously disrupted and if children cannot go to school during a crisis, they are more likely to drop out and never return even when the crisis is over,” said Save the Children Country Director Guy Cave.
    • The effect of the school closures can be seen around the country. In Bouaké, a city in central Côte d’Ivoire, the streets are filled with children who – faced with nowhere to learn – sell goods to earn a little money and help support their family.
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    • UNICEF, Save the Children and other partners are working to get children back to school as quickly as possible. Temporary schools have been set up in places such as Duékoué in the west, where 15,000 refugees have been sheltering since January.
    • An estimated 60 per cent of teachers are not in post due to the growing insecurity.
    • In the south, public schools have been more or less open for the last couple of months, but the on-going political crisis is causing a heavy burden on families. It’s paralyzed the economy causing massive layoffs, and with banks closed families are finding it increasingly difficult to have money to feed their children and send them to school. Food prices have also soared since the beginning of the year.
    • Public school is free in Côte d’Ivoire but families have to pay for school supplies and other miscellaneous fees. Where schools are open, UNICEF is distributing school bags filled with supplies such as textbooks, pens, pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener to support families in need.
    • Unfortunately, the education crisis in Côte d’Ivoire is compounded by chronic poverty. At the moment, families are faced with the difficult choice of feeding their children or sending them to school. It’s a decision no one should ever to have to make.
    Teachers Without Borders

    UNICEF - Tunisia - Protecting children's right to education during unrest in Tunisia - 0 views

    • TUNIS, Tunisia, 23 February 2011 - After his school was attacked three times in two weeks, *Issam, 13, admits he’s afraid.

      Popular protests in Tunisia started mid-December in the interior regions of the country and led, a month later, to the toppling of the then President, causing schools to close down for two weeks.

    • Since interim authorities have taken over, schools have begun to reopen. Now, after a few days of strikes, schooling is slowly returning to normal. Insecurity, however, remains a concern. Across the country, schools have reported incidents of theft, looting, burning and armed attacks.
    • Most of the demonstrators are believed to be outlaws whose sole purpose is to destabilize the country. On one occasion, according to Imene, they came with knives, sticks and shards of glass. They even locked the teachers in one room and left with the key.
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    • The exact number of schools that have been targeted during the recent unrest is unknown. UNICEF, however, estimates that basic schools have been looted, damaged or stolen in seven of out 23 regions, with serious degradations in Sidi Bouzid, the heart of the revolution, where six primary schools have been looted and partially burnt
    • Beyond the damage to buildings, these events have also left an impact on schoolchildren throughout the country, many of whom have been direct witnesses of scenes of violence. To make sure their children are safe, some parents have decided to keep watch inside the school.
    • UNICEF will be supporting the Ministry of Education in rehabilitating damaged schools, providing psychosocial support to affected children, and promoting opportunities for dialogue and the restoration of mutual trust and respect between students and teachers.
    • In the meantime, Imene is worried. “I want things to go back to normal,” she says. “I have an important exam this year, and I want to pass it.”

      Both she and her brother are looking forward to the day when things calm down and they resume their daily activities.

    Teachers Without Borders

    UNICEF - Kenya - Child Friendly School manual outlines a brighter future for Kenyan chi... - 0 views

    • NAIROBI, Kenya, 7 February 2011 – The foundation for key improvements in the quality of teaching and learning was laid recently in Kenya with the launch of a manual on implementation of the 'Child Friendly School' concept.

      The manual, developed by education experts with support from UNICEF, provides guidelines to teachers and helps them understand how to use this model effectively.

    • Under the Child Friendly School framework, schools must not only help children realize their right to a basic education, but are also expected to equip them with the skills to face the challenges of a new century; enhance their health and well-being; guarantee them safe and protective spaces for learning, free from violence and abuse; raise the teacher morale and motivation; and mobilize community support for education. A child-friendly school assures every child an environment that is physically safe, emotionally secure and psychologically enabling.
    • t aims to develop a learning environment in which children are motivated and able to learn.

      The minister of Education called on communities to support schools in providing a quality education for children:“We must address all facets of a child’s life. We must take care of psycho-motor development, physical development, the environment the socialization of the child,” he emphasized.

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    • The UNICEF Representative stressed that by embracing the Child Friendly School concept, schools would be managed in a way that ensured a child’s holistic development. It would also address the questions of equity, access and quality of education.
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    UNICEF - Egypt - Psycho-social support for children caught in violence on Egypt's streets - 0 views

    • CAIRO, Egypt, 18 FEBRUARY 2011 – UNICEF has launched a psycho-social support programme for children who were affected by violence during the uprising in Egypt in recent weeks.
    • According to preliminary figures announced by the Ministry of Health and by human rights organizations, 365 people – including 13 children, reportedly – were killed during the events in different governorates, and thousands of people were injured.
    • “In this psycho-social programme, we are preparing the teacher, the psychologist and the social worker to communicate actively with the children,” said Dr. Bahary. “This communication is based on listening and arts in order to give children a chance to express themselves accurately, and this of course will reduce their anxiety.”
    Teachers Without Borders

    UNICEF - At a glance: Haiti - 'Beyond School Books' - a podcast series on education in ... - 1 views

      'Beyond School Books', podcast series on education in emergencies
      Podcast #32: Rebuilding Haiti's education system one year after the earthquake
      'Beyond School Books' - a podcast series on education in emergencies
    Teachers Without Borders

    UNICEF and partners help educate children displaced by conflict in DR Congo |... - 0 views

    • DR Congo, a vast country the size of Western Europe, has been mired in war and political unrest for decades. The United Nations has kept its largest peacekeeping mission here since 1999. It is also the world’s second poorest country, with 59 per cent of the population living below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day.
    • The gross enrolment rate for primary school in DR Congo – that is, the proportion of children of any age who are enrolled in primary school – decreased from almost 100 per cent 30 years ago to 64 per cent in 2005. Gross enrolment for girls today is at 58 per cent.
    • he programme is part of an initiative to place education in emergency and post-crisis transition countries on a viable path in order to achieve quality basic schooling for all children.

      “The school provides a protective environment,” UNICEF Goma Education Specialist Elena Locatelli said, noting that a few hours spent in the classroom each day also keeps children “occupied with activities that don’t let them think of the difficulties of their past.”

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    • “In the past, we would whip the children,” said Mr. Zirhumana Muzirhu. “But thanks to the psycho-social training, teachers and schoolchildren are now friends, so we don’t use the whip anymore.”

      The education-in-emergencies programme is also rehabilitating schools and providing school supplies and recreation kits, so that students can participate in regular activities that are crucial to their physical, mental, psychological and social development. In addition, the programme has provided more than 130,000 children with education kits in conflict-ravaged North Kivu Province in recent years.

    • By participating in group activities, children can express themselves and channel their trauma through song, poetry and dance. With this in mind, AVSI has been training teachers to nurture displaced and vulnerable children. The training has produced significant changes in the philosophy and practice of education in Walikale.
    • “I like going to school and hope to finish it, but I’m not sure if another war will break out and make me displaced again,” she said.

      “My biggest fear is, I don’t know if my children will finish school one day,” admitted her mother.

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