PUTTING LEARNING FIRST

This partnership looks beyond getting children back in school, focusing on learning, child development and well-being. Ethiopia will be one of the pilot countries for the partnership. Photo UNICEF Ethiopia.

Education Cannot Wait and Porticus announce new partnership focused on measuring holistic learning outcomes for children and youth caught in protracted crises and emergencies

27 February 2020, New York – To improve learning outcomes for girls and boys caught in emergencies and protracted crises, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is now partnering with the global philanthropic organization Porticus to develop, test and document fit-for-purpose solutions towards measuring the learning of children in crises-affected countries.

The pilot programme will be implemented in three countries between 2020 and 2022, as  part of ECW’s Acceleration Facility. Bangladesh and Ethiopia are shortlisted, and a third country is in the process of being selected.

“There is a growing global movement to address the pressing needs of the 75 million children and youth caught in crises who do not have consistent access to a quality education. This partnership looks beyond getting children back in school, focusing on learning, child development and well-being. This includes the measurement of progress in academic learning, but equally gives attention to psycho-social, as well as social and emotional domains of learning and development. With this focus on measurement we can better understand whether and how children being exposed to multiple risks and adversities can develop the academic, social and emotional skills and competencies needed to achieve their full potential. The results of measurement can inform concrete program design, as well as policy,” said Gerhard Pulfer, Porticus representative for Education in Displacement.

Porticus’ goal in the field of Education in Emergencies is to “to promote a transition towards holistic, quality education for displaced learners and host communities.” According to Pulfer, Porticus seeks education systems for displaced children that take responsibility for learning outcomes, and that encompass both academic and social and emotional learning.

Holistic Approaches

Learning is different and vastly more complex for children and youth caught in crises and emergencies, including armed conflict, forced displacement and climate-change induced disasters. Stress, trauma, fear and anxiety make it hard for them to concentrate in school and learn. Of greater concern, too many girls and boys are simply left behind and excluded from the hope, opportunity and protection that a quality learning environment provides.

To address these challenges, ECW supports Multi-Year Resilience Programmes (MYRPs) that use a ‘whole-of-child’ approach to deliver quality education to children and youth affected by emergencies and protracted crises.  These MYRPs focus on increasing access, teaching capacity, conducive school environments, more relevant curricula, tailored learning material, physical and emotional safety, as well as other aspects related to school feeding, and water and sanitation in schools.

Together with its partners – including host governments, United Nations agencies, public and private donors, civil society organizations and non-profits – ECW has launched MYRPs in 10 crisis-affected countries to date and plans to expand its support to a total 25 countries by 2021.

The new partnership between Porticus and ECW will measure the effect of these initiatives and provide a better understanding of what is working and is not working for children caught in emergencies and protracted crises to learn.

To do so, the partnership will take a holistic approach to measure learning outcomes, looking beyond academic achievements in literacy and numeracy to also include aspects of social-emotional learning. The social-emotional aspect is often overlooked in stable settings and requires specific attention for children affected by conflict. These skills include self-awareness, emotional regulation and respect for others, as well as interpersonal skills such as listening and conflict resolution. They also include skills such as critical and creative thinking, goal setting, study skills, teamwork and time management.

“Every child and young person have a right and need to enjoy an education that is holistic and addresses the full spectrum of developmental needs. The fact that they are caught in war zones, forced displacement or natural disasters does not remove their right to a quality education. On the contrary, a quality education is the only hope and viable solution left,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “As we supercharge ideas to create solutions as part of the UN’s Decade of Action, we must  improve our evidence base and adjust approaches accordingly. This is part of our global promise to leave no one behind, and to ensure not just universal and equitable access to an education, but also universal and equitable access to a quality education.”

Partnerships for the Future

Porticus and ECW will work in close collaboration with in-country partners as well as global actors to ensure broad exposure, inclusive feedback and close collaboration as the partnership is implemented. Lessons learned through the partnership will be shared across a broad group of relevant stakeholders.

To kickstart the partnership, Porticus is granting EUR1 million (approximately US$1.1 million) to ECW. ECW will co-fund this valuable partnership with a US$500,000 investment.

As the partnership develops, both Porticus and ECW intend to broaden and grow the collaboration, to mainstream and accelerate best practices and help ensure children and youth caught in crises benefit from improved learning outcomes.

Bangladesh, where ECW supports a multi-year resilience programme for Rohingya refugees and host communities, is also targeted as part for the partnership. Photo UNICEF.

RESTORING EDUCATION, RESTORING HOPE

1 million girls and boys are out of school in Ethiopia. New efforts funded by Education Cannot Wait are working to get these children and youth back in safe, protective learning environments.

Photo © ECW/UNICEF/2020/Nahom Tesfaye

1 million girls and boys are out of school in Ethiopia. New efforts funded by Education Cannot Wait are working to get these children and youth back in safe, protective learning environments.

Stories from the Field

Special Contribution by Demissew Bizuwerk, UNICEF. View Original.

25 February 2020, Ethiopia – “I feel sad to see my school damaged like this,” says 12-year-old Kuresha Yusuf. “We had proper classrooms and desks. But now we are attending class here [under the tree].”

Kuresha Yusuf attends class under a tree after her school was damaged by conflict. Kuresha’s favorite subject is math and she wants to be a math teacher. Photo © ECW/UNICEF/2020/Nahom Tesfaye

Kuresha’s school, Hagajin Libah, in Tuliguled woreda (district) Somali region of Ethiopia, was attacked when inter-communal conflict erupted in the adjacent woredas of Oromia and Somali regions two years ago. All of the six classrooms were badly damaged.

Hagajin Libah primary school in Tuliguled woreda is badly damaged after inter-communal conflict erupted in the adjacent woredas of Oromia and Somali regions two years ago. Currently, out of the 450 students, only 150 of them attend class sitting under trees. Photo © ECW/UNICEF/2020/Nahom Tesfaye

“We did a back-to-school campaign in September,” says Dheg Abadir Muhamed, the director of the school. “But when the students came, we had no alternative but to teach them under the trees.”

Hagajin Libah, which had 420 students before the conflict, now only has 150 students sitting on stone stools and facing a blackboard mounted to a cactus tree.

Similarly, in Chinaksen woreda, Oromia region, the old structure of Chachale Primary School’s six-classroom block is reduced to ruins. Luckily, the newly built two-classroom block survived the attack after the military intervened in the area. 

Since September last year, efforts were made by the local administration, community members and the education bureau to bring students back to school. Yet, with only two classrooms, four teachers and limited supplies, they are only able to enroll students from grades 1- 4. Students in grades 5-8, like 14-year-old Rawda Mohammed, have no place and they stay at home to support their families.

Rawda Mohammed stands in front of her damaged school in Chinaksen woreda, Oromia region. Rawda was in grade 4 but now out-of-school because her school is badly damaged by conflict. The school now only offers class to students in grades 1-4. Photo © ECW/UNICEF/2020/Nahom Tesfaye

“Some of my friends are married because they are not able to continue their education,” says Rawda. “I still hope to continue my education when our classrooms are reconstructed.”   

The immediate need to restore education in Chachale and Hagajin Libah goes beyond the physical work of reconstruction.

Although calm has been restored in many conflict-affected areas, children who have been through violence are experiencing stress and struggling with learning. Their teachers, therefore, need psychosocial training to understand how to deal with the psychological and social impact of conflict in children.  

Ethiopia has an estimated 1.4 million displaced, returnee, and refugee children, mostly resulting from conflicts and natural disasters. One million of these children are out of school; without education opportunities which is their best hope for a better future[1].   

Besides, a lack of trained teachers, unsuitable educational facilities, insufficient school-feeding and inadequate clean water in schools make the learning process challenging.

Though significant resources are needed to rebuild the education system in crisis-affected parts of Ethiopia, funding for education in emergencies is low compared with other sectors. For instance, the education component of the 2019 humanitarian response plan which required a total of US$45 million was only 12 per cent funded.  

The good news is a three-year US$165 million Multi-Year Resilience Programme (MYRP) recently launched by Education Cannot Wait (ECW), a global fund for education in emergencies, fills the gap. The programme is set to support the education of 746,000 children affected by crises in Ethiopia. So far, US$27 million has been secured while efforts are underway to mobilize the remaining gap. Key interventions of the MYRP include the reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged schools, provision of teaching and learning materials, and school feeding and capacity building of teachers and local education authorities. Psychosocial support to teachers and students is also included. 

The Ministry of Education is leading the programme in coordination with the Regional Education Bureaus in the worst affected woredas such as Chinaksen and Tuliguled. UNICEF and Save the Children are grantees to the programme, with the role of identifying partners who deliver the programme results on the ground.

While Kuresha’s dream is to become a teacher, Rawda, on the other hand, wants to be a nurse. For crisis-affected children like them, education provides the strength and tools they need to build a brighter future for themselves and their community. Restoring their education is restoring their hopes.  

Kuresha Yusuf(left) with her classmate. Photo © ECW/UNICEF/2020/Nahom Tesfaye

[1]IDPs and Returnees: IOM, 2019, Displacement Tracking Matrix, October and IOM, Village Assessment Survey, October 2019
Refugees: MOE, 2019, Annual Statistical Abstract.

Education Cannot Wait’s ‘Stories from the Field’ series features the voices of our implementing partners, children, youth and the communities we support. These stories have only been lightly edited to reflect the authentic voice of these frontlines partners on the ground. The views expressed in the Stories from the Field series do not necessarily reflect those of Education Cannot Wait, our Secretariat, donors or UN Member States.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT INVESTS $48 MILLION IN CHAD AND ETHIOPIA

In just one week, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), with the Governments of Ethiopia and Chad and implementing partners, launched two new multi-year resilience programmes in Chad (7 February) and Ethiopia (14 February) with US$48 million in seed funding over three years to roll out crucial programme activities and catalyse additional resources.

TOGETHER WITH PARTNERS, THIS WEEK SAW THE LAUNCH OF TWO MULTI-YEAR RESILIENCE PROGRAMMES TO ACCELERATE SDG 4  

10 multi-year programmes have been approved to date as ECW – the global fund for education in emergencies – and partners gain momentum to support UN Decade of Action

15 February 2020, New York – In just one week, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), with the Governments of Ethiopia and Chad and implementing partners, launched two new multi-year resilience programmes in Chad (7 February) and Ethiopia (14 February) with US$48 million in seed funding over three years to roll out crucial programme activities and catalyse additional resources.

The budgets for these multi-year programmes total US$216 million and thus call for urgent funding to fill the remaining gaps. When fully funded, the programmes will support quality education for approximately 1 million children and youth affected by conflict, forced displacement, protracted crises and impacts of climate change, including droughts and floods.

With the launch of the government-led programmes in Chad and Ethiopia, ECW and its partners have now realized a proven model for advancing humanitarian-development coherence in 10 crisis-affected countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, State of Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Uganda.

“In Chad, Ethiopia and other crisis-affected countries, children’s lives have been ripped apart by conflict, forced displacement, climate change impacts and protracted crises. Girls are the most affected and are therefore our top priority. Across these programmes, we must ensure that every child and young person can enjoy their right to inclusive and continued quality education in a protective learning environment – one that caters to all their educational needs and allows them to become who they were meant to be,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.

“We must not leave these children behind. They all have the right to develop and thrive. By working together with national governments, UN agencies, donors and other key partners, we are building a global movement to reach these children and to accelerate actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals within the UN’s Decade of Action,” continued Sherif.

ECW operates with unprecedented speed and agility in mobilizing partnerships and resources to deliver results for children, helping to advance Sustainable Development Goal 4 – quality inclusive education – for children and youth affected by conflicts, disasters, forced displacement and protracted crises.

In just three years of operation, the Fund has already raised over half a billion dollars and reached over 2.3 million girls and boys, including refugees, internally displaced children, and other children and youth affected by emergencies and protracted crises. 

Kickstarting resource mobilization

The programme launches in Chad and Ethiopia kickstart global efforts to fully fund each of the multi-year resilience programmes (MYRPs), and donors are encouraged to help make a transformational difference in the lives of crises-affected children and youth.

  • In Chad, ECW plans to allocate a total US$21 million over three years in seed funding grants to catalyse the additional US$30 million required to fully fund the three-year programme and reach 230,000 crisis-affected girls and boys.
  • In Ethiopia, ECW plans to allocate a total US$27 million in seed funding grants to catalyse the additional US$138 million required to fully fund the three-year US$165 million programme and reach approximately 746,000 crisis-affected girls and boys.

The ECW-facilitated MYRPs help bridge the gap between emergency response and long-term development and focus on reaching the most marginalized and vulnerable children and youth, such as girls and children with disabilities. MYRPs are developed on the ground in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders – national   governments, UN agencies, donors, private sector and civil society.

Interventions are designed to provide whole-of-child solutions and to reintegrate out-of-school girls and boys into learning and training programmes, improve learning environments, train teachers, improve the governance of the education system in emergency situations, provide psychosocial and school feeding services, support early childhood education and to increase enrolment and retention.

H.E. Aboubakar Assidick Tchoroma, Chad’s Minister of National Education & Civic Promotion, with Yasmine Sherif at the Chad multi-year resilience programme launch

Key facts and figures on Chad

The protracted crisis in Chad has pushed 1.2 million children (aged 6 to 11) out of school. Only 19 per cent of girls and 40 per cent of boys access lower-secondary-school education, and only one out of every ten girls complete middle school. Developed under the auspices of Chad’s Ministry of National Education and Civic Promotion (MENPC) with the support of Education Cannot Wait and a range of UN agencies and international and national civil society partners, the new MYRP focuses on refugee, displaced and host community children and youth and those affected by food insecurity and malnutrition.

In advance of the Ethiopia launch, Yasmine Sherif visited with children in Ethiopia’s hard-hit Oromiya Region with the State Minister of Education H.E Tsion Teklu, and representatives from Save the Children and UNICEF.

Key facts and figures on Ethiopia

Ethiopia has an estimated 1.4 million displaced, returnee, and refugee children, mostly resulting from conflicts and natural disasters. One million of these children are out of school, 527,000 of them girls. Latest data shows that 728 schools have been damaged by conflict or natural disasters. In Ethiopia, the Ministry of Education will lead the programme in partnership with Save the Children, UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait, and the Education Cluster.

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Notes to Editors

  • Education Cannot Wait announces a record-high US$64 million investment to support new multi-year education programmes in Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Syria (Read full announce in here)
  • Multi-Year Resilience Programme in Chad  [Read the full announcement here: En, Fr]
  • Multi-Year Resilience Programme in Ethiopia  [Read the full announcement here
  • Share our social Chad video on facebook and twitter
  • Share our social Ethiopia video on facebook and twitter

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO DELIVER EDUCATION TO CHILDREN AFFECTED BY CRISES IN ETHIOPIA

Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies, has announced a three-year, US$165 million initiative to provide education to 746,000 children affected by crises in Ethiopia. Simultaneously, ECW announced a planned seed grant of US$27 million to support initial efforts that include mobilizing US$138 million needed to fully fund the programme.

The three-year, US$165 million investment will provide education to 746,000 children in areas affected by conflict

14 February 2020, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies, has announced a three-year, US$165 million initiative to provide education to 746,000 children affected by crises in Ethiopia. Simultaneously, ECW announced a planned seed grant of US$27 million to support initial efforts that include mobilizing US$138 million needed to fully fund the programme.

Speaking at the launch in the Ethiopian capital, ECW Director Yasmine Sherif said the programme is designed to address the specific challenges holding back access to quality education of children and youth in communities – these are the children left furthest behind due to violence, drought, displacement and other crises.

“Working with the Government and all our Education Cannot Wait partners, this investment provides protective learning environments and inclusive quality education to girls and boys living in very difficult circumstances,” she said. “We must not leave them behind. They too have a right to develop and thrive. They have so much to achieve and give. By working together in mobilizing all the required resources, we now have a chance to ensure that no child in Ethiopia is left behind.”

State Minister of Education H.E Tsion Teklu and Yasmine Sherif talking with crisis-affected children in the Oromiya region

The multi-year resilience programme was developed by the Ministry of Education with support from Education Cannot Wait and a range of partners – United Nations agencies, civil society organisations and donors – to address the educational needs of displaced children.

Ethiopia has an estimated 1.4 million displaced, returnee, and refugee children, mostly resulting from conflicts and natural disasters. One million of these children are out of school, 527,000 of them girls. Latest data shows that 728 schools have been damaged by conflict or natural disasters.

The ECW programme will provide educational opportunities to 746,000 children – 380,000 boys and 365,000 girls, including 74,600 children with disabilities. Of these, 213,000 children will access early childhood education and 532,000 will receive primary education. The programme will further build the capacity of 1,200 refugee teachers to achieve diploma level certification.

ECW has earmarked seed funding of US$27 million to address the educational needs of 60,487 displaced children, returnees, and children from host communities in Amhara, Oromia and Somali regions. Part of this money will also support efforts to mobilize the funding gap of US$138 million needed to fund the whole programme.

The Ministry of Education will lead the programme in partnership with Save the Children International, UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait, and the Education Cluster. UNICEF and Save the Children will implement Education Cannot Wait’s planned $27 million three-year grant.

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About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):

ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.

To date, ECW investments span more than 30 countries affected by armed conflict, disaster and forced displacement.

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Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

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Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735

Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820

Victor Chinyama, vchinyama@unicef.org, +251-911-255-109

Wossen Mulatu, wmulatu@unicef.org, +251-911-308-483

Hiwot Emishaw, Hiwot.Emishaw@savethechildren.org