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The findings > Thematic Studies> Emergency>Part 3
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PART III: TOWARDS A SHARED KNOWLEDGE OF EDUCATION IN EMERGENCY AND POST- EMERGENCY SITUATIONS: ANALYSIS OF STRATEGIES AND PRACTICES
 
 

UNESCO strategy and priorities :

In co-operation with other bilateral and multilateral international organizations running emergency operations, UNESCO is strengthening its resources by introducing : · action priorities and strategy in the field of emergency educational assistance; · guidelines and an appropriate framework for curricula (content, training, teacher training and facilities; · organization and implementation, through UNESCO field offices and networks of technical and teaching teams in the field of emergency educational projects and programmes designed primarily for displaced or refugee communities; · the gathering and dissemination of information to Member States and the general public in order to promote the cause of refugee children and especially their right to education, the satisfaction of their most urgent needs, and their integration in society; · implementation of the principles of education for peace and dialogue in the education systems of warring countries in order, among other things, to prepare for the phase of national reconstruction.

 

 

UNHCR principles for refugee education :

UNHCR's Executive Committee, in its Conclusions on Refugee Children of 1987, stressed that 'all refugee children (should) benefit from primary education of a satisfactory quality' and 'recognised the need of refugee children to pursue further levels of education'. It further 'recognised the importance of meeting the special psychological, religious, cultural and recreational needs of refugee children in order to ensure their emotional stability and development'. In its 1994 Conclusions on Refugee Children, the Committee asked UNHCR 'to identify educational requirements in the early stages of an emergency so that prompt attention may be given to such needs'. It requested the High Commissioner 'to give higher priority to the education of all refugee children, ensuring the equal access of girls, giving due regard to the curriculum of the country of origin'. In 1995 it encouraged the introduction into refugee education of 'elements of education for peace and human rights', while in 1998 it noted 'the importance of education and other programmes to promote ...tolerance and respect for all persons and their human rights,... civil society and sustainable development'.

 
 

UNICEF commitment to education in emergencies:

Basic education must play a part in every education programme. Educational activities will be consistent with UNICEF overall policy on basic education and tailored to the specifics of the particular emergency. UNICEF is committed to basic education. In line with its own mandate, universal primary education through both formal and non formal means is a key goal. Early childhood care for growth and development, and adult education, serve as complementary elements to good primary education, and UNICEF places special and high priority on the girl-child and the education of women.

 

 

The 1990s have seen multiple efforts to meet the educational needs of populations affected by wars and disasters, as noted above. Quantitatively, there are gaps in coverage and even in our knowledge of needs and whether or not they are being met. The mobilisation of additional resources is recommended to meet the gaps and commissioning of studies to extend our awareness of unmet needs. In this section, we look at qualitative aspects of education in emergency. What is the state of the art?
 
Here again there is a very weak knowledge base on which to offer comments. There have been many initiatives to develop innovative and effective approaches to emergency education, but most of them remain in the grey literature of unpublished agency reports and in the memories of the educators concerned. These constraints, together with the need for brevity, mean that we can offer more of a 'taste' of the field than a systematic assessment or evaluation.
 

At this point, therefore, we touch on some of the current issues regarding the content and methodology of education in emergencies, including:

Rapid response to the needs of displaced or returnee children

Special policies for refugee education

Gender sensitivity and girls' education in emergencies

Standards for the resourcing of humanitarian response

Use of new technologies ·

Meeting psychosocial needs, and raising awareness of dangers such as landmines, AIDS and drug abuse, and promoting environmental awareness and a Culture of Peace.

 
1. RAPID RESPONSE TO THE NEEDS OF DISPLACED OR RETURNEE CHILDREN
 
 
There is now widespread agreement that it is desirable for children and young people to participate in appropriate structured activities such as simple recreation and education programmes and volunteer service, as soon as possible after a crisis situation, such as conflict, internal displacement or taking refugee in another country. The first objective is to gather children and young people together and provide constructive social interaction, since this will help overcome the psychosocial effects of trauma and displacement - and will do so in a manner self-targeting on the participants' own culture.
 
Early support to education and recreational activities for children and adolescents brings the additional benefits of helping identify those children and young people who are most severely traumatised, or having other problems, such as being exploited or abused by household members or employers. Another benefit is that mothers and other family members feel some element of normality in their lives (and have more time for household tasks etc.) when children are regularly attending school or other organised activities. Rapid response is likewise important when refugee families return from exile. There has often been a gap between return and the revitalisation of educational institutions.
 
Retarding factors: Various factors can retard education response. In some situations, physical access has been difficult, due to trucks getting bogged down in mud or inadequate air access. Under such conditions, priority in the very short term has to be given to food, health and shelter.
 
A serious factor retarding early provision of international support to refugee education can be the concern that education, no matter how informal, would crystallise the situation and prevent early repatriation. This concern has been expressed by receiving governments, donor governments and UN staff. While understandable in terms of days and weeks, this state of mind or policy can be perpetuated for months or even years. The trauma of displacement is thereby enhanced for the refugees. Moreover the opportunity to orient education towards humanitarian values is lost. For example, in Eastern Zaire in 1994/5, many schools were started on a self-help basis by supporters of the previous Rwandan government. Due to lack of assistance from humanitarian agencies, it was not possible to orient the content of schooling to support a more peaceful future, as would have been possible, to some extent, if the teachers had been receiving incentives through humanitarian NGOs.
 
Another retarding factor for refugee education can be when the government of the asylum country feels obliged to develop an entire education policy for refugees before permitting educational response. It should be recognised internationally that humanitarian emergency response includes immediate support to simple educational activities, and that formal discussions are for a later stage. In some places, the concerned persons are aware of the issues involved because they have assisted refugee populations in the past, as has been the case in Tanzania in the 1990s. But it would be better to formalise the policy, for the benefit of others.
 
 

Establishing standards for the timing of response: A review of services to refugee children, conducted jointly by UNHCR and Save The Children, concluded that structured activities including education should be initiated as soon as physically practicable. The "education guidelines" suggest the following minimum standards:

Simple recreational and educational activities for children and adolescents should be in place not later than 3 months after the beginning of an emergency,

A unified system of basic schooling should be in place after not more than 6 months.

 
Similar standards should be applied in the case of other crisis or post-conflict situations, to the extent possible.
 
Preparedness: education standby arrangements. In large-scale emergencies, there is always a need for education experts to help design and co-ordinate rapid educational response. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has made an important contribution here, with standby education deployments to UNICEF, UNHCR, UNESCO and other agencies.
 
In some cases a new emergency arises in a location in which there are already refugee education programmes. This happened in 1988, for example, when a new wave of Sierra Leonean refugees entered Guinea. The International Rescue Committee was already conducting a major refugee education programme for Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea, with UNHCR support, and was able to make the necessary arrangements to provide rapid educational response to the needs of new arrivals.
 
 
Preparedness: education materials. Sometimes newly arrived refugees or internally displaced populations are busy setting up simple schools, and field staff seek to assist them with educational materials. If these materials are not to hand, what should be done?
 
The inter-agency co-operation in the design, purchase and use of 'Teacher Emergency Packages' (TEP) (writing materials and limited educational materials) in response to the 1990s crises in Somalia, Rwanda and elsewhere has led to extensive discussions on possible pre-assembly and pre-positioning of education kits or 'schools-in-a-box', for use in future emergencies and repatriation programmes. Advantages include the real-world likelihood that pre-assembled kits could be put on a plane or lorry quickly, once the officer in charge at an emergency site expresses agreement (and finds a budget from which to replenish the stock that is used.)
 
Disadvantages include the physical and organisational costs of storage and shipment, and sometimes low shelf life of materials; especially as the procurement of constituent items in a central location might be at a higher cost than their purchase at the site of ultimate use. There is also be a risk that a regional storage site will be in the 'wrong' location, cost-wise, for the next emergencies. There is nevertheless considerable interest in having some kits pre-packaged, at least to meet the immediate needs of small emergencies and as exemplars for what is needed in larger ones.
 
The TEP programme has been used in several countries in Africa. The prototype was launched in Somalia in 1993. It was also used in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Yemen. A Kinyarwanda version was widely used in Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Afar version was used in Region 2 of Ethiopia. A Portuguese version was prepared jointly by UNESCO and the Norwegian Refugee Council for use in Angola. English and French versions are available for easy adaptation for any country context within 4 to 6 weeks. (18)
 

Teacher Emergency Package (TEP)

UNESCO developed a Teacher Emergency Package (TEP) in Somalia, in 1993, for use as a ready-to-use kit for functional literacy and numeracy instruction for children, and it has since been used elsewhere. It is designed to accommodate about eighty children in a two-shift class almost anywhere.

The TEP or "school-in-a-box" consists of a kit of materials and a teaching methodology for basic literacy and numeracy in the learners' mother tongue. The teachers' bag contains:

a) blackboard paint, brush and tape measure (to enable teachers to create their own blackboard on a wall if necessary),

b) white and colored chalk,

c) pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners and felt markers,

d) ten "scrabble sets" (for language and number games),

e) three cloth charts (alphabet, numbers and multiplication),

f) an attendance book, a note book, and

g) a Teachers' guide which outlines the pedagogical methods by lesson. In an accompanying box are student supplies for a total of eighty students (two shifts) consisting of: slates, chalk, dusters, exercise books and pencils.

 

 
UNICEF, UNHCR and other agencies have supported the use of TEPs in some situations and have also developed other specifications for emergency supplies.(19) In Albania in 1999, UNICEF and other organisations further developed the concept of early response to include the designation of integrated 'safe spaces' for children, in which temporary shelter is provided for mother and child health, play areas, and primary school classes, with supply of needed materials in kit form as necessary.
 
 
Logistics may dictate which of the foregoing models makes more sense in any given situation. Meanwhile there is a definite need to have teachers' guides and educational materials for all aspects of crisis situations available in the main international languages, so that they can either be made available to the field immediately -if the languages and content are appropriate; or can be quickly adapted/ translated into local languages and scripts.
 
2. SPECIAL POLICIES FOR REFUGEE EDUCATION
 
The principles underlying refugee education include meeting the psychosocial needs of the refugee children and adolescents, and building knowledge, skills, attitudes and values contributing towards a durable solution. Many issues, such as the importance of rapid educational response, are common to refugee and other crisis situations. Questions of curriculum, certification and teacher training for refugee schools are discussed in this section, since they present problems specific to the refugee situation.
 
 
Curriculum issues: Where possible, refugee children should have the opportunity to study some version of the curriculum of their place of origin: a policy often called 'education for repatriation'. Where schools are established specifically to meet the needs of refugees, 'education for repatriation' should be recognised as a right, by all concerned agencies and governments. It has psychosocial advantages - that of familiarity of content and having familiar, -refugee, teachers. It is, moreover, the hard-headed policy most supportive of repatriation -which is often what donors and receiving governments are seeking. Use of the curriculum of the place of origin means that it is possible for returnee children to be reintegrated into the education system of the country of origin as soon as schooling can be re-instated there.
 
If a refugee programme seems likely to last for an extended period, then it may be desirable to introduce a curriculum that 'faces both ways'. An example here is the use of an Afghan curriculum by Afghan refugees in Pakistan, but with the addition of the language of Urdu (the national language of Pakistan). This ensures basic language skills for the country of asylum labour market and also for admission to national education institutions at post-primary or post-secondary level.
 
' In some cases, there may be political reasons why refugees prefer an earlier version of the curriculum than that currently in force in their country of origin. Afghan Mujahidin preferred a curriculum predating the Marxist era in Afghanistan. Many refugees from Southern Sudan prefer to follow an anglophone 'East African' curriculum, as their educational tradition is anglophone: refugees from Southern Sudan attending refugee schools in Uganda and Kenya thus follow the Uganda or Kenyan curriculum. Indeed, when there is no problem regarding language of instruction, it is often simpler for refugees to follow the host country curriculum, since this gives access to national examinations, local textbooks can be used, etc.
 
Certification: Certification of studies is an especial problem in refugee situations. It is highly desirable to develop a regionalised approach to education whereby the Education Ministry of the country of origin is willing to validate studies undertaken by refugees. This was possible in the case of Mozambican refugees in Malawi and Zimbabwe but is often not practicable. Another approach is for the host country education authorities to validate refugee education. This can be problematic for political reasons or because the refugees study in a language different from that of the host country.(20)
 

Certification of refugee schooling in Nepal

In Nepal, high levels of refugee participation in schooling have raised the literacy rate of the camp population from 15% in 1993 to 65% in 1997. The high percentage of passes in the government's Year 10 School Leaving Examination (SLE) has inspired the junior students to study seriously and vigorously. The drop out rate is low. The SLE certificates are awarded as 'provisional' certificates to non-citizens of Nepal but are recognised for further studies by higher education institutions in Nepal and India.

 

 

Guinea: Certification of education and training received by refugees from Liberia and Sierra Leone

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) refugee education programme in Guinea developed a curriculum that meets the requirements of both Liberian and Sierra Leonean Ministries of Education, since schools included refugees of both nationalities. The students take secondary school leaving examinations set by the West African Examinations Council, and their results are universally recognised.

 

Negotiations for recognition in Liberia of the high quality IRC in-service teacher training are continuing at the time of writing. This experience has shown the importance of recording all training received by individual teachers and of recording the content of these trainings. Such recognition can help trained refugee teachers obtain employment as teachers in government schools after repatriation, contributing to the quality of schooling in returnee situations.

 

 

Use of refugee teachers: Education is a first priority of refugee communities and educated refugees come forward to help start refugee schools. This has advantages in providing children with a feeling of security in the classroom, -teachers from their own community, as well as in providing educated refugees with an opportunity to do something constructive to help build a better future. When a system of refugee schools has been established, it is normal to provide an 'incentive' to refugee teachers, so that they can concentrate on their work and to minimise the level of staff turnover.
 
Many refugee teachers are new to the profession and intensive in-service training is needed as well as mobile teacher supervisors and advisers. This is the more needed because teachers themselves may have been traumatised, as well as their students, and it is now considered vital to sensitise teachers to the psychosocial aspects of their work.
 
The quality and extent of in-service training and school-based guidance is one of the more variable aspects of refugee education. Some projects have set up excellent systems of training while others have lacked the expertise and/or the resources to provide adequate support.
 
In Pakistan, several agencies have provided in-service training of Afghan refugee teachers and head teachers. The major programme is now undertaken by GTZ, which provides vacation training in methodology and subject matter, including the use of supplementary workbooks for language and mathematics developed by the project. A cluster school approach has been used, in which a senior teacher provides mentoring for teachers in adjacent schools; and regional teachers' centres have been established.
 
In Guinea: the IRC refugee education project includes a teacher training section, which provides 'new teacher workshops', in-service training during vacations, and in-school supervision by regional training officers; and which organises in-school mentoring by senior staff.
 
In Northern Uganda: Jesuit Refugee Service schools have provided in-service training during vacations, special subject matter tuition, and in-school guidance, through mobile advisers; and JRS has sponsored the participation of refugee teachers in national teacher training programmes.
 
In Djibouti, a subject coordinator for each of the core school subjects visits the refugee teachers and provides in-school teacher training.
 
 
It is important to build a consensus that refugee children have the right to be taught by refugee teachers, and that educated refugees need the opportunity for constructive activity afforded by a teaching role. (21)
 
It should be stressed that in-service training of educated refugees as teachers for refugee schools serves to create a cadre of future teachers for returnee areas. It can happen that during an emergency there is a permanent 'brain drain' of teachers away from the region or away from the profession.
 
3. GENDER ISSUES AND GIRLS' EDUCATION
 
'The most urgent priority is to ensure access to, and improve the quality of, education for girls and women, and to remove every obstacle that hampers their active participation…' (Jomtien Declaration, Article 3, para 3.)
 
 
'Gender sensitivity is not merely a facet of the education revolution but is woven into its very fabric. Measures aimed at girls' participation advance the cause of universal education on every front.' (UNICEF 1999b, p. 56).
 
Emergencies are times of catastrophe for women and girls. Some 70 to 80 per cent of displaced populations are typically women and their children. Women play a key role in helping communities survive conflict and in conflict transformation. Stressed or traumatised by fear, insecurity and loss of loved ones, women and girls may also suffer trauma from the humiliating experience of gender-based violence. Many endure in silence because of cultural taboos. Girls who have been raped in front of their parents or forced into sexual slavery with militias, for example, find reintegration into society particularly difficult. During times of crisis, girls may be pressured into prostitution to raise family income, and sometimes face higher levels of malnutrition than boys, when food is scarce. (22) Sometimes food and other relief supplies intended for women and children end up with male fighters.
 
 

Why gender equity is needed : an example

Mary, an educated woman living in a refugee camp, had three daughters. After her husband died, Mary was advised to marry her brother-in-law. Her refusal was tolerated, but her husband's relatives started receiving potential suitors for two of her daughters. Mary delayed matters temporarily by sending her daughters to a boarding school outside the camp. But her opinions were not accepted, despite her leadership position in the camp. In the end, Mary had to apply for resettlement in a third country, where she moved with her daughters. (Report of an international workshop, Kampala, 1998)

 

Many of the factors which limit girls' and women's participation in education in emergency situations are similar to those which affected them in their home location. These include home duties such as care of younger children, cooking and washing clothes and dishes ; collecting water, fuelwood and sometimes food rations ; poverty-related factors such as lack of adequate clothing and cash for school fees or materials (available cash often goes towards boys' education first). Parents are often concerned that older girls may become pregnant and withdraw them from school at puberty. Girls may withdraw due to early marriage or pregnancy. And in some conservative societies there may be a reluctance to allow girls to attend school at all. In addition, there may be school-based factors leading to non-enrolment of girls or their early drop out. These may include lack of female teachers, lack of separate latrines for girls, male teachers with low expectations of girls' achievements, and so on.
 
The Jomtien emphasis on education for girls and women has led international organisations, governments and NGOs to move forward on such gender issues, including revision of textbooks and educational materials, training teachers to be sensitive to gender, sensitising communities to the importance of educating their daughters and so on. Many organisations working with emergency-affected communities have likewise developed strong policies in support of the education and training of girls and women.
 
Emergencies can have the effect of empowering women and girls, if they become the heads of household, and perhaps responsible for food production and management of livestock and property. It is important to build on this empowerment to link women more strongly into the management of schools and to ensure that empowerment in terms of sending daughters to school and through women's role in school management remains effective in the post-conflict phase of reconstruction.
 
Gender strategies and staff sensitisation: These issues need to be thoroughly understood by the staff of agencies supporting education in emergencies, and taken note of at field level, through development of appropriate strategies and staff training. It is necessary to review the factors limiting refugee girls' participation in schooling through consultations with educators, parents and girls themselves, and to recommend a strategy for increased participation. Training materials were then produced, and sensitisation workshops held for education programme staff, head-teachers and community representatives in various locations. Posters stressing the benefits of education for girls were widely displayed.
 

Physical access and timing: Physical access to school in the vicinity of the home is especially important for girls. Distance can be a problem for adolescent girls for reasons of harassment or if they have to get to or from school quickly because of home duties.

'Home schools' and 'self-help schools' have been started for Afghan refugee girls in Pakistan who do not have access to schooling near their homes.

In Djibouti refugee camps, girls are given preferential access to the afternoon shift of schooling, since they are expected to undertake household chores in the morning.

In a returnee area of Mozambique, action was taken against teachers who asked girls for sex as a condition for promotion to the next year of schooling.

Emphasising the importance of starting young. There should be no age discrimination in admission to schooling, which is a basic right. However, when it is possible for children to start school young this can help solve several problems such as cultural constraints on education of older girls (and possible harassment of older girls); drop out of adolescents because hours of work conflict with schooling; reluctance of adolescents to attend school without good clothing; etc. Pre-schools can be helpful in this respect, especially if a snack is provided, since parents then send both girls and boys who are too young to be helpful with chores, and the habit of school attendance is formed.
 

Providing separate facilities for female students and teachers, based on community norms. Where girls and boys study together, care should be taken that school arrangements do not discourage girls' participation in schooling or the participation of women teachers. Some communities prefer to have totally separate schools for girls of all ages, while others prefer this for older girls. Separate latrines should be provided for girls and women teachers.

In Pakistan in the 1980s, separate schools were established for girls in the larger Afghan refugee camps. Even so, attendance was very limited, since the populations came from rural areas where girls had not attended school. Refugees arriving later from Kabul, where girls' education was common, quickly established self-help schools with both male and female students and teachers.

In Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, funding has been secured to hold afternoon school classes for girls/ women who dropped out of school to marry. Classes will start at years 1, 3 and 5 of the primary school curriculum. The community will be asked to care for their children during class time. Newly arrived adolescent Somali girls are receiving afternoon classes in English and Swahili, so that they may enter the school system (year 2) in the next academic year.

 
Recruitment and training of female teachers. Female teachers serve as role models for female education as well as giving reassurance to families that it will be safe to send their daughters to school. They can advise school-girls on personal matters that the girls would not feel able to discuss with male teachers.
 
The current policy of attempting to increase the proportion of female refugee teachers to at least 50% can be helpful in this respect. (23) Women are rather more likely than men to repatriate to the areas of origin and to live there (men may travel in search of more highly paid work in the cities), which means that this policy also serves a developmental function in the longer term.
 
Special measures to increase the numbers of girls and women eligible for teaching posts are to be commended. In Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, for example, two women teachers have been appointed in each refugee school, and, as needed, they receive extra training in English (the language of instruction). An education consultant has suggested a system of scholarships to national girls' schools so that talented refugee girls could complete the 8 year primary education course and become teachers in the camp. Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), churches and communities have awarded some scholarships of this kind. In 1998, the first two refugee girls (among 100 boys) won JRS scholarships to Kenyan secondary schools.
 
Providing gender-sensitivity training and anti-harassment training. Teachers and students should be made aware that gender sensitivity is important both in the teaching process and outside the classroom. Harassment is not an acceptable practice. Reproductive health education is likewise important.
 
 

Reproductive health education and peer support for refugee girls in Guinea

In IRC's refugee schools in Guinea, Young Women's Social Clubs aim to increase the knowledge of reproductive health issues such as anatomy, menstruation, contraception, AIDS/STDs, to increase knowledge and develop strategies regarding sexual violence, gender awareness and women's rights, and to provide peer support to young women. This is intended also to help motivate girls to stay in school. Both sexes can benefit from IRC Health Counsellors, Health Clubs, and trained peer educators who can also explain the health risks.

 

Supply of hygienic materials. Lack of hygienic materials is a major cause of drop out for girls reaching the age of puberty. Following a survey on the causes of girls' drop out from schools in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, refugee girls were provided with materials and were taught by their teachers how to make underwear and sanitary protection items. They are also provided with soap as an incentive for school attendance. This matter is often neglected, when women are not adequately represented in programme management.
 

Use of incentives to promote participation of girls in schooling and regular attendance. Poverty often leads to preferential investment in boys' education rather than education of girls. This situation may be exacerbated in emergencies. Provision of incentives to enable girls to attend school can help to overcome this problem. Incentives can help overcome cultural constraints, but should be used in a culturally sensitive manner.

 
For example, in Pakistan, WFP supplies a tin of edible oil to Afghan refugee girls (and female teachers) who attend school for 22 days in a month, after completing the first year of schooling. This measure has greatly increased the demand for school places for girls and greatly reduced school drop outs. Likewise, in Kenya, refugee girls who attend school regularly are given used food sacks by WFP for their family to sell as a source of income.
 
1. NEED TO ESTABLISH MINIMUM STANDARDS OF RESOURCING FOR EDUCATION IN COMPLEX EMERGENCIES.
The problem of resourcing is perhaps most acute for internally displaced and returnee groups in countries lacking well functioning education administration systems - sometimes lacking even an effective government, and with limited external support. There is no doubt that hundreds of thousands of children and adolescents are deprived of meaningful access to education through such circumstances. Donors are unwilling to commit resources where they believe that there is a likelihood of further conflict or where absorptive capacity is limited. This can lead to a vicious circle whereby NGOs, for example, cannot obtain funding to help re-establish schooling and hence absorptive capacity remains low.
 
Even with refugee populations, where international access and assistance is the norm, there are wide variations in standards of resourcing and effectiveness. UNHCR's internal evaluation of refugee education, conducted in 1996-97, noted that refugee education programmes, being scattered among many countries and locations and implemented through many different agencies, varied greatly in their level of adequacy. There has been under-funding in some programmes, such that even teachers may not have a set of textbooks in hand, while in other programmes school textbooks are issued to every pupil. Some refugee schools are dusty or damp, made from mud bricks, while others are housed in leaking school tents. Some refugee schools, in contrast, have cement floors and corrugated iron roofs and some are permanent constructions. Some schools have vastly overcrowded classes and study hours limited by a 'shift system', while others have good buildings, full hours of study and class sizes in the range 40 to 50 pupils. These and other differences have arisen in part through different levels of donor interest in particular refugee programmes.
 

Pakistan: Education for Afghan refugees

The government-implemented programme for Afghan refugees in Pakistan attracted good financing in the 1980s. This led to the construction of semi-permanent and permanent schools in some locations, although some schools continue to be accommodated in school tents. Textbooks were issued to all students. Each student received one school uniform per annum. In-service teacher training programmes were begun by various agencies, and finally in the 1990s GTZ introduced a major teacher training programme for the teachers in refugee schools, in the province hosting the majority of refugees, together with supplementary pupil workbooks for language and numeracy. This was an example of good resourcing. Funding problems in the 1990s have led to discontinuation of the issue of school uniforms, and replacement of funding for middle and secondary schools by funding for a 'bridging year', intended to permit entry to non-refugee schools. Implementation arrangements were also changed, with teachers' being paid on the basis of 'incentives'. The growing interest of Afghan families in girls' education, and the lack of access to middle and secondary schools in many areas, constitute resourcing problems for the future, however.

 

Many international agencies have a decentralised country-based programming and budgeting system which means that education has to compete for priority with health, water, sanitation, income generation and other services provided within a country programme. It is for this reason that minimum standards of resourcing for education are important, so that needs-based budget proposals can be developed by implementing organisations.
 

Element of standards for refugee schools in the 'care and maintenance' phase, recommended in 1997 by UNHCR

Minimum of 4 hours study/day (6 hours after class 4)

Class size of 35 to 40 pupils on average day

Two core books per student (e.g.. reading, mathematics)

At least one 'set' (50 copies) of all other prescribed textbooks, per school · Other reading materials in resource centres/ libraries/classroom book-boxes · Writing materials, according to year of studies

· Minimum 2 square metres of blackboard space per classroom, repainted regularly

·Laminated wall charts in each classroom (letters/ numbers/ subject matter related to courses, small maps)

·Large world and relevant country maps, and globe (at least one per school) · Other educational materials, as appropriate

Sports equipment in each school

Chair and table for each teacher

·In-service training courses for all refugee teachers, at last 10 days per year

In-school teacher training by project education advisers; and mentoring · Simple clean seating for pupils, based on local practice

Playground sufficient for recreational activities

Latrines (separate for male/female pupils and teachers)

Potable water

Reading room/resource centre · Lockable storage room

Staff room · Reproduction equipment

Laminating machines (one per project office)

Community support in site clearing and construction

Gradual transition to more durable shelter, with good frame, roof and floor (cement) if justified by likely duration of stay

 
Standards and participation in schooling
 
One way to increase participation in schooling is to increase education standards, so that basic skills of literacy and numeracy can be acquired effectively, enabling students to proceed successfully through higher levels of schooling. Another method is to include elements relevant to the special concerns and interests of children and adolescents including sports, cultural activities, etc. These are essentially 'in-school' methods. Other aspects of pupil non-enrolment or drop out arise from home and community factors, however, notably poverty and cultural traditions, as noted above in the section on girls' education. Resourcing standards must take note of these issues, if the right to education in emergencies is to be meaningful, especially in the case of displaced populations who have often fled with only the clothes they were wearing and who in some cases are forbidden or unable to engage in trade, agriculture or paid employment.
 
It is often the children (especially girls, but also boys) from the poorest families that do not enrol in school, or attend irregularly and drop out early. In such situations, Education for All in emergency situations will depend on the resources made available to help the poorer families. We may assume that under emergency conditions, the concerned assistance programmes will include basic items such as pencils, notebooks etc for students and, hopefully, sets of textbooks for schools. It is not so obvious that an education programme should look into items such as clothing, nutrition etc. Yet where families have no means to buy clothes for their children, school attendance may have to await a donation of second-hand clothing or cloth to make uniforms. (This happened in 1997/8 in the refugee camps in Western Tanzania.) In some areas of Eastern Europe and the countries of the Commonwealth and Independent States (CIS), school attendance of displaced children is limited in winter by lack of warm coats, shoes, and fuel to heat school classrooms. Hunger can be another factor preventing school attendance, and conversely, provision of school meals can be a factor promoting attendance (although it is difficult to organise under emergency conditions).
 
Over the longer term, the role of the community is critical in maintaining standards and in addressing poverty issues.

The community role in sustainable schooling

In Nugal, Somalia, UNESCO helps establish Community Education Committees which collect fees and donor contributions, pay the teachers and manage the school. A series of training programmes have been held to equip communities with the necessary leadership and management skills. Income generation activities with donor and matching community contributions enhance the capacity of the community to meet the costs of education. The programme operates on a time-bound sliding scale with gradually decreasing donor contributions. From community contribution the schools move towards community ownership.

 

5. ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS IN EMERGENCY EDUCATION
 
Many people across the globe face grave difficulties in gaining access to information, which is essential in forming a wider and more informed vision of the world and of their interests. Numerous journalists have been killed or live under threat of persecution. It must be recognised that education is a multi-channel process and is linked to mass communications and to access to information. The case of "La Radio des Mille Collines" in Rwanda, during the genocide, has shown the importance of the role of media: the discourse of hate and the call for violence encouraged, fanned and sustained the conflict.
 
The importance of using the media to disseminate objective information and peace-promoting messages has thus become clearer than ever. UNESCO, Reporters sans Frontières, Amnesty International, JRS and other organisations have provided training workshops for journalists, exchange visits, and support to the press, in conflict-affected countries, such as Rwanda, Bosnia Herzegovina, Afghanistan... This work should be expanded.
 
UNESCO has initiated radio programmes in several conflict or post conflict situations, including « magazine » and « soap opera » approaches. In 1998, four complete production cycles for Somalia were completed (46 soap opera episodes supplemented by 46 radio magazine broadcasts of 15 minutes each), working with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Hargeisa and Radio Galkacyo. A printed magazine accompanies the radio shows. This strategy built on lessons learned from the BBC/UNESCO 'New Home, New Life' project developed for Afghanistan and Afghan refugees in 1993.
 

Technology for distance education: New Home, New Life

Afghanistan has been in a state of uninterrupted conflict due to external and internal factors for over 20 years. In conjunction with the BBC, international agencies and NGO's, UNESCO launched a radio soap-opera entitled New Home, New Life which is the story of returning refugees. The theme touched home, and found a wide audience among Dari and Pashto speaking Afghans both in Afghanistan and in refugee camps outside.

The audio transmission has been particularly beneficial to women and girls who have no access to learning facilities outside the home. The immediate success and popular response to the soap-opera gave impetus to the publication of a monthly comic-strip magazine of the same name to facilitate the reading skills of neo-literates, and inspire others to learn. A special illustrated issue of New Home, New Life is also published for children, to develop and enhance their audio and reading skills. The magazine was originally distributed free of cost but is now sold by subscription. It is expected to progressively become a self-supporting enterprise.

It is interesting to note that the day after the radio-drama dealt with the subject of vaccinations, mothers queued in large numbers to have their children vaccinated. This was a tremendous boost to the vaccination programme, which had until then received a very mild response.

 

The new technologies that permit production, transmission and reception of social, political, scientific and educational information 'without frontiers' are thus of especial importance for populations affected by emergency, chronic conflict and slow recovery. Efforts to broaden access to education and improve effectiveness and quality, and efforts to build the capacities and mobilise the resources to do so, will require the participation and cooperation of the various actors and partners in education, and new technologies can help in this, whether by radio broadcasts reaching remote villages or satellite technology linking programmes to donor agencies far away.
 
Meetings in Benin and Zimbabwe 1998/99 have led to the development of a strategy and programme of action at national and regional levels that can have a major impact on education in crisis and emergency. The Association for Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) has joined with the World Bank to develop a strategy 1999/2000 for a joint 'Communication for Education in Africa' programme. This will include close involvement of policy makers, curriculum development, training, and the creation of networks. It is important that agencies and educators concerned with emergency and crisis situations work closely with this initiative.
 

El Salvador: Peace Programme for women via radio diffusion to reconcile rivaling factions

At the end of a bitter 12-year civil war, under the 1992 Chapultepec Peace Accords mediated by the United Nations, a broad and extensive post-conflict peace-building programme was envisaged for national reconciliation in El Salvador. UNESCO's contribution to the latter was through a culture of peace programme with women as the focal population for human rights, social and environmental awareness.

The programme topics aimed at reaching and raising women's awareness vis-à-vis their rights and creating a social and educational environment conducive to the exercising of those rights. A total of 40 local, regional and national radio stations broadcast the programmes on a daily basis, and each station was monitored and evaluated through a questionnaire by community correspondents.

Although the success of this project as a potential peace-builder cannot be entirely measured through standard measurement tools, indications on the ground weigh heavily in favor of an attitudinal change among the people, and the power of the radio programmes in bringing feuding factions together. Initially the rival groups were hesitant and reticent. In an environment rife with mistrust, project objectives and outcomes were made clear to rival factions so that questions such as "who will own the project or the equipment?" were no longer a major preoccupation of the participants. Suspicion soon gave way to collaborative work once a common goal in the interest of all beneficiaries was made clear.

 
6.SPECIAL ISSUES
 
6.1 Psycho-social needs and rehabilitation
 
'All phases of emergency and reconstruction assistance programmes should take psychosocial considerations into account. …Programmes should aim to support healing processes and to establish a sense of normalcy. This should include establishing daily routines of family and community life, opportunity for expression and structured activities such as school, play and sports…(and) mobilise the community care network around children. Governments, donors and relief organisations should prevent the institutionalisation of children. When groups of children considered vulnerable, such as child soldiers, are singled out for special attention, it should be done with the full co-operation of the community so as to ensure their long-term reintegration.'(Machel Report, para. 183)
 
It is of course important to provide food and medicines to conflict-affected populations, and to promote formal schooling, literacy and income generation activities. But this is not sufficient. It is necessary also to promote new ways of thinking and engender new skills for coping, for populations that have been torn apart by conflict, and that live with memories of tragedy and thoughts of guilt and revenge.
 
UNICEF, Save the Children and many other organisations have emphasised the importance of the psychosocial dimension, for children and young people affected by trauma and conflict, and especially for those whose trauma is the greatest, such as demobilised child soldiers who have been forced to commit atrocities. Healing, in this case, requires working at the level of the person -whether the release of emotions through sport, song and dance, or sharing experiences and feelings in groups or individually. Some programmes of this type were noted above, in the section on child soldiers and ex-combatants.
 
In schools, it must be realised that students are not the same after the trauma of conflict or displacement. Chalk and talk alone cannot meet the needs of the day. Teachers must use a range of approaches, from pedagogical strategies and the content of schooling, to group and even individual discussions, from recreational activities to building self-esteem and respect for one's language and culture. Teachers should be trained to identify as soon as possible those children who show signs of grave psychological disturbance and to direct them to specialist assistance.
 

Guatemala: Psychosocial rehabilitation of children and young people displaced by violence

Guatemala has been subject to civil discord since 1954. The increasing severity of internal conflict in the eighties drove a large part of the indigenous rural population to the more remote mountainous areas of the country for safety.

The high incidence of social violence and armed conflict in the region has taken a toll on children. In addition to a high morbidity rate, the number of malnourished children is also high. The tensions, fears and anxiety passed down from the parents find no outlet when the children are immersed in the environment of an adult world where their lives revolve around baby-sitting, collecting water and firewood, grazing animals, cooking, etc. Under these circumstances, school is neither an option, nor play a pastime for children who haven't had a childhood.

In the absence of health facilities, an educational infrastructure, teaching staff or learning materials, the NGO Enfants Réfugiés du Monde (ERM) set up recreational centres for children between ages six and 14 with the objective of helping children deal with the psychosocial consequences of conflict.

A multidisciplinary team of locally trained teachers crew enables children with little or no schooling to participate in the activities of the community centre where they are helped collectively and as individuals to communicate via tasks and creative expression and activity. Evaluation of the programmes shows increased self-esteem and confidence among the participating children who are able to distinguish and appreciate the positive elements of their socio-cultural environment. For many, the centres serve as a refuge and source of identity. In addition to developing their social skills, children are also taught to respect and assume greater responsibility of self and work as they grow up. Another success of the programme is observed coming from the youngest children of the group who attend kindergarten. These children had better success at the primary school level in comparison to those that did not attend kindergarten. They were also more motivated to continue beyond primary school.

 
The tragedies of 1999, in Albania, Macedonia, Sierra Leone and elsewhere saw efforts to enhance the psychosocial component of rapid educational response.
 

Sierra Leone: Psychosocial support to internally displaced children

In an emergency programme benefiting some 10,000 internally displaced children in Sierra Leone in 1999, IRC established a community-based initiative to help children recover from trauma. IDP leaders, teachers, youth recreational leaders and parents participated in a cross-cultural workshop to identify methods of support to children and adolescents at risk, through education, recreation and healing. They received training in child development, psychosocial development, communication skills, leadership, peace and conflict resolution, and identifying children at risk, for referral for special assistance. Youth leaders coordinated recreational activities for children concurrently with education in order to reach large numbers of beneficiaries. Parents were sensitised to encourage their children to participate, in view of protection concerns when the children had been spending their time in the streets.

 

6.2 Awareness-raising: the dangers of landmines
 
'Today, children in at least 68 countries live amid the contamination of more than 110 million landmines. Added to this number are millions of items of unexploded ordnance, bombs, shells and grenades that failed to detonate on impact. …Angola, with an estimated 10 million landmines, has an amputee population of 70,000, of whom 8000 are children. …Landmines and unexploded ordnance pose a particular danger for children, especially because children are naturally curious and like to pick up strange objects that they come across. …States Parties, where relevant, should report on measures being taken …to promote children's awareness of landmines and to rehabilitate those who have been injured.' (Machel Report, paras. 112/3, 126)
 
Mine awareness is one of the first educational messages that needs to be conveyed to children and adults returning to areas affected by mines. Many agencies have developed expertise and programmes in this area. A good overview is provided on the University of Pittsburg's internet website on international education. (24) UN agencies, governments and NGOs have developed innovative mine awareness programmes, in countries such as Mozambique, Somalia, Cambodia and Bosnia. It will be important to link an awareness of the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance to peace education programmes for populations who have recently experienced conflict and have to live in or return to locations where mines or ordnance present a hazard.
 

Mozambique: Prevention of danger from land mines

After the signing of the General Peace Agreement in 1992, UNHCR requested Handicap International to develop a programme on education regarding the danger of land mines for the rural population of Tete Province. The programme was later extended to other provinces as it was indispensable for the security of returnee populations.

Technical support was provided to all partner agencies on the ground interested in developing activities on preventive measures against the danger of land mines. The preventive strategy included: a) using the radio and theatre as a means to develop and publicize awareness at the mass level, b) developing initiatives aimed at prohibiting the production, sale and use of land-mines in Mozambique, c) developing national capacity through coordinated support of the National De-mining Commission.

The above mine-awareness building campaign led to significant reduction in the number of land mines related accidents. Preparations were being made to conduct the campaign in 18 languages through low-cost means. It was further anticipated that the Portuguese version of the programmes could be used in Angola.

 

6.3 Awareness-raising: avoiding HIV/AIDS and drug abuse
 
AIDS and DRUG have become two social factors strongly linked to the phenomenon of violence. The problem of AIDS has reached crisis point. In Africa there are estimated to be some 8 million children orphaned by AIDS, while in other continents the problem is growing. This means that their education is put at risk, -they often face hardship in terms of basic subsistence and they or their relatives cannot meet the expenses of schooling. Children have to drop out of school to care for dying relatives and because of the incidental costs of schooling. Children with HIV/AIDS themselves cannot access treatment and drop out of school as their condition worsens. Teachers are sick with and dying of AIDS and are hard to replace. In some countries it is already impossible to do "business as usual".
 

Zambia: the orphans of AIDS

A UNICEF source reveals that 1.6 million Zambian children have lost either a father or a mother to AIDS, and that ten per cent of them have lost both parents. Those who are left alone often join gangs in order to survive in big cities such as Lusaka. Some 90,000 live in the streets, three times as many as in 1991. The loss of parents is mostly accompanied by drop out from school and by the search for a job in order to survive.

The association 'Fountain of Hope', created eight years ago, manages about 150 community schools in the country. Out of 700 pupils, nearly 400 are orphans. This is an alarming situation that requires an urgent response. (Le Monde, Paris, 30 September 1999)

 

Emergency education must be at the front line of the AIDS/ education interface, since AIDS is a crisis and since conflict and the military are major vectors of the disease. Rape has been a commonplace of conflict in the 1990s, prostitutes are infected and solutions are not in sight, except for persons with regular access to good medical facilities and the funds to pay for expensive drug therapy.
 
Young people are often unaware of their own status. It is of the utmost importance to educate them from an early age regarding the nature of sexual diseases and how they are transmitted, and of the particular characteristics of HIV/AIDS. It is important, further, to teach the inter-personal skills for communication. A set of materials for participatory AIDS awareness education has been prepared jointly by the World Health Organisation and UNESCO. Many other such materials have been produced by concerned organisations and governments worldwide. The example of Uganda, where education through formal, non-formal and informal means has begun to slow the incidence of new cases of AIDS, is a confirmation of the importance of this topic on the educational agenda for the next decade.
 
Given the disruption of civil society during emergency and conflict situations, with high incidence of rape by highly mobile soldiers and militias, AIDS awareness and skills for AIDS avoidance must feature in emergency education programmes. The example of the International Rescue Committee refugee education programme in Guinea, with its Health Education section and its 'nurse-counselors' (one per ten schools), and its special programmes for adolescents, must be seen as an example of best practice in this respect. Programmes must, of course, be culturally sensitive, -but educators from crisis-affected populations can work to make the necessary adaptations, once the concept and the urgency of the situation are clear to them.
 
 
The role of drugs in contemporary conflicts poses another serious challenge. Again, the problem is enhanced by the breakdown of governance. It can be aggravated where young people are drugged before being forced to serve as child soldiers or commit atrocities. There is no easy solution. A major public health and educational effort is required, to counter the dangers and temptations to which young people in emergencies are exposed.
 
 
In Pakistan, drugs awareness campaigns feature in the programmes of refugee schools and in the community education activities of the Social Welfare Cell of the Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees.
 
 
Some studies are essential for understanding the connection between drugs and violence.
 
 
6.4 Awareness-raising and skills development for a culture for Peace
 
Major initiatives in education for peace, democracy/ civil society and human rights are being undertaken by agencies working in complex humanitarian emergencies. These can contribute to the international effort to develop a 'culture of peace'. The United Nations has designated the pivotal year 2000 as the Year for the Culture of Peace. A Decade will follow, emphasising the theme 'Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World'. Peace advocates fought hard for the UN to give such recognition to the idea that education can be reoriented so give more solid foundations for peace in the minds of the next generation. Agencies working with conflict-affected populations must be among the first to take up these ideas and work with them, as a contribution to preventing the recurrence of conflict.
 
The Culture of Peace initiative is a global effort and process to develop an understanding of the principles of and respect for freedom, justice, democracy, human rights, tolerance, equality and solidarity among the peoples of the world. It implies a collective rejection of violence, and engendering of ideas and ideals to cultivate and promote peace as a way of life. The Culture of Peace concept is not restricted to post-conflict situations. It is a preventive strategy to avert internal or external conflict in and by countries. Its mission hence extends beyond war zones to schools and workplaces around the world, to parliaments and newsrooms, to households and playgrounds.
 

UNESCO has developed this concept during the 1990s, and has projects for peace-building in many countries including Angola, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Haiti, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, the Philippines, Somalia, Russia and the former Yugoslavia. The programme includes formal, non-formal and informal dimensions of education:

activities with parliamentarians and elected officials in the fundamentals of good governance, democracy and social justice

empowering women to participate in their society

training and social insertion of demobilised soldiers

development and support of media which contribute to the promotion of a culture of peace

civic education programmes, conflict management and leadership training, and promotion of democratic ideals

the Associated Schools Project, active world-wide, including in post-conflict situations such as Bosnia and El Salvador

a set of peace education materials for Somalia

the Linguapax programme to promote respect for cultural diversity through the world's linguistic heritage.

UNESCO's Education Peace Pack

An Education Peace Pack was conceived and launched by the Education for a Culture of Peace programme in support of the United Nations General Assembly proclamation of the year 2000 as the International Year for a Culture of Peace. The 'Peace Pack' is the outcome of several sub-regional 'Children's Culture of Peace Festivals' organized around the world in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations in 1995. The challenge was to produce a multi-functional pack of resource materials that could be used as a teaching tool by teachers around the world. This was eventually achieved through the collection of materials reflecting the festival activities.

The pack contains a variety of elements such as a teacher's handbook, activity cards, peace posters, tolerance posters, puppets and mask, worksheets, and a sample of children's 'appeals'. The objective of the peace education resource materials is to provide teachers with a variety of ideas for activities, which would engender a spirit of tolerance and understanding among children from an early age through knowledge.

The project is in an experimental stage in 81 participating countries at the pre-primary and primary school level. The initial feedback from participants has been very positive. Through translation and adaptation of the material to culturally diverse regions and countries, a distribution to all (5,600) Associated Schools of UNESCO is envisaged over the period 2000-2001. In addition to the Associated Schools a large number of elementary schools worldwide will also receive a sample of the Peace Pack. UNESCO offices in Doha, Harare, Apia and Phnom Penh are currently producing versions relevant to the regional cultures and languages.

 
UNICEF has likewise played a major role in recent initiatives to develop education for peace, and expressed its anti-war perspective in its 1995 State of the World's Children (issued 50 years after the Second World War). UNICEF has developed Peace education programmes in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Liberia, Rwanda, Burundi, Croatia and elsewhere. It has developed a Training of Trainers manual in Education for Conflict Resolution. It has explored the relationship between the interpersonal 'life skills' or 'coping skills' needed for adolescent health and the similar skills at the core of programmes of education for peace. Educational methods developed during conflict are now integrated into national education programmes in Lebanon and Sri Lanka: children practise the skills of problem solving, and learn the techniques of negotiation and communication as well as respect for themselves and for others. They come thereby to see that peace is their right. The objective is to help reconcile divided communities and prevent future conflicts.(25).
 
In Lebanon, the UNICEF-supported Education for Peace project grew out of the 16 years of civil war. Launched in 1989 in collaboration with the Lebanese government and 240 NGOs, the project has trained 10,000 young people who have, in turn, organised educational activities reaching approximately 200,000 children. The aim is to promote peace and a culture of reconstruction and reconciliation ; emphasis is placed on child rights and child development, conflict resolution and environmental education.
 
In Sri Lanka, the Education for Conflict Resolution project is interweaving the values of tolerance, compassion, understanding and peaceful living, appreciation of other cultures and non-violent conflict resolution into school curricula. Since the project began in 1992, it has reached more than a million primary school children and trained more than 75,000 administrators and 30,000 student leaders. In 1999, it will be introduced into secondary schools.
 
In conflict-affected locations in Croatia, children in primary schools have received 20 weeks training that aims to address psychosocial stress, increase bias awareness, promote conflict resolution and teach ways of achieving peace. A collaboration between CARE, McMaster's University, UNICEF and the Croatian Ministry of Education, the project was begun with fourth graders in 1996, to help children resolve everyday problems, build self-esteem, and improve their communication skills. An evaluation showed reduced psychosocial stress, improved classroom atmosphere, and positive attitudes towards school, parents and life in general. It is hoped to extend the coverage to all eight grades of primary school and to adolescents in youth associations.
 
UNHCR has long worked to build understanding between refugees from different communities and countries, residing together in refugee camps or settlements, through its Community Services staff and programmes. More recently it has received earmarked funding for field-based development of materials, methodologies and programmes of peace education suited to refugees and other populations of concern to the organisation.(26)
 

Development of Peace Education materials and methods in refugee settings

In 1998, UNHCR initiated a pilot project for peace education in the refugee camps in Kenya, following extensive consultations with the refugees in Kakuma and Dadaab camps, where there are refugees from about a dozen nationalities, mostly from the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes. Community organisations were supportive of the idea of peace education in the camp schools, but most groups stated that they should be the first beneficiaries of such education. A course of education for conflict resolution was therefore developed, using participative methods of adult education, that draw on the life experience of participants and make extensive use of participant-generated role plays. Over 5000 refugee youth and adults have already completed the 10-session course, of which one refugee stated that it was the best thing that UNHCR had done for refugees in the camp -since it was building skills for a peaceful future!

The programme has likewise been introduced for the 40,000 pupils in the 40 primary schools in the camp, for classes 1 to 7. It has been timetabled for one period weekly. Adults and school classes are led by refugee peace education facilitators and peace education teachers respectively, who have received training and continuous on-the-job supervision from the project staff. The programme is now being extended to other countries, beginning with refugee community programmes in Uganda. A regional workshop was help in March 1999 to share this programme with regional offices of UNICEF, UNESCO and NGOs, and further inter-agency cooperation is planned.

 
Many organisations are now active in the field of human rights and civics education, in crisis-affected countries. Since young people and adults need to learn the basis on which a new society should be constructed, this is especially useful in situations of reconstruction, or for prevention. The new UNESCO manual for schools on human rights education 'All human beings' represents an excellent resource for introducing human rights and peace education programmes. It is important that young people get to know the fundamental concepts of human rights and responsibilities, and of democracy, as well as the constitution and legal system of their country. In some cases, young people (and adults) have not been aware of the basis on which peace treaties have been arrived at between conflicting factions within their society. Educators must find new ways of demonstrating that building civil society and democracy is everybody's business and of supporting it.
 

Human rights education in the Southern Caucasus

Since 1996, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has been involved in a programme promoting human rights education in the Southern Caucasus. The programme began in Armenia and expanded into Georgia, including the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkasia, and Azerbaijan.

The aim of the programme is to promote human rights education within the school system. In this process, different aspects had to be addressed: curriculum planning, teacher training, methodology, and classroom atmosphere. By introducing human rights education in the schools, it was hoped that the programme could contribute to a movement towards peace, reconciliation and tolerance between different groups of people. All the areas included in the programme suffer from the effects of war and conflict, and there are large groups of refugees and internally displaced persons. One of NRC's reasons for developing the programme was that it would eventually improve the situation of refugees and the internally displaced, with its focus on tolerance and respect for other people's rights.

The activities included meetings and round table conferences with national administrators and resource persons, and seminars for teachers. Gradually there has been a shift from training of teachers to training of trainers. Development of educational materials and a methodology suitable for the Caucasian context have been parts of the programme from the beginning.

 

 

Educators should not merely talk about human rights but should ensure that schools develop a climate of mutual respect, tolerance, democratic principles, justice, solidarity, and peace. Involvement of the community in the management of schools through Community Education Committees and Parent Teacher Associations, with representation of students, represents a major opportunity to illustrate how civil society functions, -the need for citizens to take responsibility for matters great and small that affect their lives and those of their families. Parents and students from even the poorest families can make a contribution to the infrastructure, educational and extra-curricular activities of the school; and it will become evident that cooperation, tolerance and give-and-take can lead to benefits for all. (27)
 
Education for peace, human rights and for civil society/ democracy are areas where many organisations are developing innovative programmes, often in isolation from one another. It is important that these agencies are in touch with each others' work and cooperate in the development of this field.
 
There is a close relationship between education for conflict resolution skills and the life skills component of programmes of health education, especially those emphasising coping skills for adolescents. As noted in the previous section, communication and negotiation skills are very important in avoiding unwanted or unprotected sex, which can be fatal in cultures where the level of infection with HIV/AIDS is high. Life skills training currently being introduced in teacher training and in the national school curriculum in Uganda includes many of the 'coping' skills incorporated into education for peace programmes, for example. There is a need to build organisational bridges between education for peace and health education programmes for adolescents.
 
Another area where bridges can be useful is environmental education. Many conflicts that face refugees, internally displaced and other citizens of poor countries at this time are due to competition over scarce resources. For example, there is often anger that displaced people are cutting down trees that belong to or are used by local people, or conflict over grazing rights. UNHCR and UNESCO have developed environmental education booklets for refugee schools, which aim to enrich school studies that bear on the environment, and which emphasise co-operation in the attempt to solve and avoid conflict over environmental matters.
 
Sports and other recreational and cultural activities have a major role to play in building peace, allowing participants to work off some of their feelings or stress. They can provide a real alternative to youth who might otherwise have no social anchor except a militia. Recreational activities entail close interpersonal relationships and practising teamwork. The participants and spectators likewise have to practise coping with feelings of anger, disappointment and frustration when they lose a game. Further, sporting or cultural activities which entail interaction with groups to which one does not belong can help learn tolerance and rebuild peace.
 
UNESCO has developed programmes to promote the development of sports in Lebanon, Guinea, Gaza, Bosnia and Rwanda and other countries emerging from conflict. The programmes include provision of sports equipment and sponsoring of sporting events, including those between children of different communities.
 
A famous British footballer travelled to Burundi in 1998 to initiate a 'football cup', in support of cross-ethnic sport, sponsored by Christian Aid.
 
There is need for further effort to ensure adequate resourcing and arrangements for recreational activities including sports. These take place in many refugee camps and settlements, but are now receiving a higher profile with the post-Convention on the Rights of the Child and post-Machel emphasis on the needs of adolescents. They suffer from a lack of clear definition as a priority activity, in times of budget constraints.
 
This brief 'taste' of the activities shows some of the activities developed during the 1990s, bearing directly on the task of reducing the incidence of conflict and its associated human misery, by teaching the skills for peace. These programmes are usually very warmly welcomed by the displaced or otherwise conflict-affected populations, and should be developed on a systematic inter-agency basis as part of all emergency-related education programmes.
 
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