Watch the film “Learning is their Future – Darfuri Refugees in Eastern Chad” and go to Question 1.

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Question 1

Why should education be provided as one of the first responses in any emergency? Select all that apply.

Answer: All

Affected communities, including children themselves, ask for education activities in emergencies because education gives them something meaningful to do, helps them “normalise” their lives and gives them hope for the future. Additionally, when fleeing conflict and/or natural disasters, it is often not possible to take personal belongings, but people can take the knowledge gained through education wherever they go.

Education is a right articulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). See the full list of the international legal instruments underpinning the INEE Minimum Standards.

International legal instruments underpinning the INEE Minimum Standards

  1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) (Articles 2, 26)
  2. Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) (Articles 3, 24, 50) and Additional Protocol II (1977) (Article 4.3 (a))
  3. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) (Articles 3, 22)
  4. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) (Article 2)
  5. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) (Articles 2, 13, 14)
  6. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) (Article 10)
  7. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) (Articles 2, 22, 28, 29, 30, 38, 39)
  8. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998) (Article 8(2)(b)(ix) and 8(2)(e)(iv))
  9. Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (non-binding) (1998) (Paragraph 23)
  10. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) (Article 24)

Education is “life-saving” because education curricula and extra-curricular activities can include information about diseases that can kill such as HIV/AIDS, diarrhoea, swine flu or cholera. It can also include information on hygiene and nutrition. These diseases are preventable and treatable so the inclusion of information through schools or other educational spaces can save lives. In order to do this, education staff would need to work with the health, water/sanitation and food/nutrition sectors to ensure the information is technically sound and correct.

Education is “life-sustaining” because it offers structure, stability and hope for the future. Educational environments, formal and non-formal, are one of the most important social structures in young people’s lives. In the midst of loss and change, absence of learning and schooling can intensify the impact of conflict or natural disasters.

Education enhances the knowledge and skills of future generations. Through learning, children can increase their own knowledge and life skills and can develop an enjoyment of learning and value for education that can pass to the next generation.

Education provides for physical, psychosocial and cognitive protection.

Physical protection example
Schools or child friendly spaces provide safe structures for children where the risk of abuse, harm and exploitation, violence and neglect is lower. While schools and child friendly spaces cannot guarantee absolute physical protection, the likelihood of harm is reduced when children are in safe educational spaces. Schools or child friendly spaces provide an opportunity to disseminate information to caregivers (i.e. parents, relatives and other community members) and children about preventable diseases, child-care and development. They also provide a space for inoculations and supplemental feeding.
Psychosocial protection example
Children in schools or child friendly spaces have other young people and adults to talk to and share their experiences with. They also have a chance to participate in recreational and creative activities such as free play, drawing, sports, story-telling, music, and dancing. These activities help them get their minds off of the trauma of the emergency. Schools and child friendly spaces help children begin the healing process by providing them opportunities and a safe place where they can deal with their experiences in a positive way.
Cognitive protection example
The education provided at schools or child friendly spaces helps to strengthen the problem-solving and coping skills of the learners. Education enables learners to make informed decisions about how to survive and care for themselves and others in dangerous environments. It can help people think critically about political messages or conflicting sources of information.

Child Friendly Spaces

Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) are implemented under many different names such as ‘Emergency Spaces for Children’, ‘Safe Spaces’ and ‘Child Centered Spaces” and are part of the larger humanitarian protection response.

CFS are a physical location, often in tents, for communities to create a larger protective environment for children during emergencies or in schools. If the CFS model is used in schools, the school is called a “child friendly school”.

The focus of a child friendly school and child friendly space is similar, but the former focuses strictly on formal curriculum whereas the latter includes formal and non-formal curriculum. CFS aim to support children’s holistic development and usually offer activities that strengthen children’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical well-being.

All these programs have a similar focus and activities that includes non-formal education (i.e. literacy/numeracy, basic health and nutrition, land mine safety), psychosocial support (via structured play, drawing, music) and child protection services (i.e. tracing/reunification). Specifics of each programme will vary based on the age group the centre caters to.

CFS are often a short term emergency response provision which can either phase out or transition into long-term programming, such as after-school activities, early childhood education and youth programming. As the acute emergency ends, school going children often enter schools and start formal education.

Domains and standards

Click on each domain to get more details on the domains and their associated standards. After reviewing each domain and the standards, go to Question 2.

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Question 2

Which INEE Minimum Standards domains were portrayed in the video at the start of this section? Select all that apply.


Foundational Standards: Community Participation
No, there was no mention of the participation of the community itself in conducting the assessment, design of the education programme or its monitoring and evaluation.
Foundational Standards: Coordination
No, while there are various coordination mechanisms in Chad, the video did not highlight any coordination mechanisms.
Foundational Standards: Analysis
No, there was no discussion in the video about an initial assessment, programme planning, monitoring or evaluation.
Access and Learning Environment
Yes, the video mentioned the access of various children to education programming, the condition of schools, classes offered and other issues related to Access and Learning Environment.
Teaching and Learning
Yes, the video brought up issues regarding the content of learning materials.
Teachers and Other Education Personnel
Yes, the video talked about how teachers were recruited, their level of education and experience and the materials available to them.
Education Policy
No, there was no mention of working with the Sudanese or Chadian governments regarding their national education policies.