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Core Commitments

for Children

are the core UNICEF policy and framework for humanitarian action

EDUCATION

Commitment

Benchmarks

Strategic Result

Children and adolescents have access to inclusive, quality education and learning in safe and protective environments

  • Education sector/cluster coordination and leadership[68] functions are adequately staffed and skilled at national and sub-national levels

  • Core leadership and coordination accountabilities are delivered

1. Leadership and coordination

 

Effective leadership and coordination are established and functional 

See 2.1.2 Coordination

  • Formal and non-formal education programmes, including early learning and skills[69], are available and used

  • Inclusive access to education opportunities is ensured with a specific attention to girls, children with disabilities, refugees, displaced children and other marginalised or vulnerable children[70]

  • Teachers and other education personnel are trained to provide quality learning

  • Learning is measured to monitor the quality of education

2: Equitable access to learning

 

Children and adolescents have equitable access to inclusive and quality learning opportunities

  • Preventive measures are taken to make learning environments safe and accessible

  • Learning environments are free from sexual harassment, abuse and violence

  • Preventive measures are taken to make learning environments healthy and free from disease outbreaks

3: Safe learning environments 

 

Children and adolescents have equitable access to safe and secure learning environments

  • Gender- and age-appropriate mental health and psychosocial support programmes are delivered in schools and learning environments

4: Mental Health and Psychosocial support

 

Mental Health and Psychosocial support for students, teachers and other education personnel is available in learning environments

  • Education plans, budgets and programmes are informed by risk and conflict analysis

  • Continuity of education for all children is ensured, with a specific attention to girls, children with disabilities, refugees, displaced children and other marginalized or vulnerable children. Vulnerable groups[71] are factored into education plans, budgets and programmes

5: Strengthening of education systems

 

Education systems are risk-informed to ensure inclusive, quality education and safe and protective learning environments

 

See 2.2.4 Linking humanitarian and development

  • Children, their caregivers and communities are aware of available education services and how and where to access them

  • Timely information on social services is available through learning environments

  • Children, their caregivers and communities are engaged in preparedness actions and design of the programmes

6: Community engagement for behaviour and social change

 

Children and caregivers have timely access to culturally appropriate, gender- and age-sensitive information on educational options and other social services, and are engaged in interventions creating a conducive learning environment

 

See 2.2.7 Community engagement for behaviour and social change

Key Considerations

Advocacy

  • Advocate for the fulfilment of the right of all children, no matter their or their parents’ or legal guardians’ status, to education, based on equal opportunity and without discrimination, in line with the CRC.

  • In line with the CRC and CEDAW, advocate to address the specific barriers to education faced by girls and young women in crises.

  • Advocate that education responses ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, as per SDG 4. 

  • Support the implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration and Safe to Learn Call to Action to better protect students, teachers, other education personnel and schools during crises, to support the continuation of education and to put in place concrete measures to deter the military use and occupation of schools.

  • Advocate and engage with relevant authorities, including non-state actors as necessary, and partners to ensure the protection of children and educators as well as prevent attacks on education facilities and other grave violations against children, in line with international human rights and humanitarian law.

  • Advocate and engage with relevant authorities and partners to promote equivalences and collaborate towards recognized certifications for all learning programmes, where appropriate.

  • Mobilize donors to fund safe and inclusive play and early learning in humanitarian response.

  • Advocate for engagement with education systems as platforms for reducing social divisions, intolerance and prejudice through curricula, teaching, learning and education sector governance; and for fostering social cohesion among children and communities.

Coordination and Partnerships 

  • As sector/cluster lead/co-lead for Education:  identify gaps; support effective advocacy, timely and effective responses to filling critical education gaps, systematic monitoring and evaluation and knowledge management processes; and consider specific needs related to gender, disabilities and age.

  • Ensure that education interventions are included in all humanitarian response plans, including activities such as: supply of kits for education in emergencies; measuring and monitoring of learning; re-establishment of schools as a priority; establishing sustainable education and other learning options for displaced and refugee children in protracted crises.

  • Ensure responses are in line with the INEE Minimum Standards for Education: Preparedness, Response and Recovery, including the INEE Gender Guidance Note and other relevant guidance.

  • Ensure linkages between humanitarian (e.g. education sector/cluster) and development coordination mechanisms (e.g. education sector working group, development partners group, local education group).

 

Quality Programming and Standards

  • Foster integrated, multisectoral responses to increase access to safe and secure quality education, using models such as the Rapid Response Mechanisms for Humanitarian Action. Collaborate with Health, Nutrition, Child Protection, WASH, Social Policy and Community Engagement for Behaviour and Social Change, as well as Gender, Disabilities and Adolescent Development, to use schools as an integrated service platform delivering a range of interventions and outcomes for children.

  • Ensure Comprehensive Sexuality Education and GBV/Psychosocial Support are coordinated with other relevant programmes such as Child Protection, Health and HIV/AIDS.

  • Ensure continuation of learning is central to all plans. Special attention should be given to targeting the needs of out-of-school children, girls, children with disabilities, refugees, displaced children and other marginalized or vulnerable groups[72].

  • Ensure that essential education supplies are procured and delivered in a timely manner through facility- and community-based systems.

  • Engage systematically with affected groups, especially out-of-school children, including adolescents and young people, as well as marginalized communities, to identify their educational priorities and exert influence on the setting and infrastructure of educational services. 

  • Systematically engage with communities to implement preparedness, preventive and response activities at community level, according to INEE Minimum Standards for Education: Preparedness, Response and Recovery.

  • Integrate GBV risk mitigation in all education programmes. Work with GBV actors and coordination mechanisms to reduce risks of GBV and ensure provision of care for survivors of GBV. Equip and train education personnel with up-to-date information on available GBV response services and referral procedures to support GBV survivors. If there are no GBV actors available, train education staff on the GBV Pocket Guide.

  • Using safe and confidential feedback and reporting mechanisms based on affected populations’ preferred methods of communication, systematically use their views to review, inform and correct education interventions.

  • Ensure that children, adolescents, caregivers and communities participate in decisions that affect their lives and have access to safe and confidential complaints mechanisms.

Linking Humanitarian and Development

  • Engage in multi-hazard risk assessments, planning and programming for education, in line with INEE Minimum Standards and other global guidance.

  • Implement the Comprehensive School Safety Framework, including safe learning facilities (disaster-resilient infrastructure), school disaster management and disaster risk reduction and resilience education.

  • Work with national and local partners to build capacities and integrate facilitators/teachers into systems with appropriate compensation.

  • Engage in conflict analyses to inform education planning and programming in contexts of conflict, fragility or major challenges to social cohesion, in line with the INEE Guidance for Conflict Sensitive Education and other global guidance.

  • Strengthen the ability of education systems (governance systems, curricula, administrators, teachers) to foster social cohesion.

  • Enhance the role of education systems in developing the skills of children, including adolescents and youth, to participate in their communities and make meaningful contributions to community resilience, social cohesion and peace.

Footnotes

[[68] UNICEF is the Cluster Lead Agency at country-level and the co-lead at the Global Level, through a MoU with Save the Children.

[69] Including foundational skills, transferable skills, digital skills, and job-specific skills. See UNICEF Education Strategy 2019-2030.

[70] Vulnerability is the extent to which some people may be disproportionately affected by the disruption of their physical environment and social support mechanisms following disaster or conflict. Vulnerability is specific to each person and each situation. Vulnerable groups are those most exposed to risk, and particularly susceptible to the effects of environmental, economic, social and political shocks and hazards. They may include: children, adolescents, women, older people, pregnant adolescents and women, child and female-headed households, people with disabilities, unaccompanied minors, people from marginalized groups and the poorest of the poor, people marginalized by their society due to their ethnicity, age, gender, sexual identity, disability status, class or caste, political affiliations or religion. The typology of vulnerable groups may evolve depending on contexts and risks.

[71] Ibid

[72] Ibid.

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