Education

  • Exploring the next frontier in education in emergencies: Social-emotional learning research and practice

    A teacher at a blackboard in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria

    Maryam Mustapha teaches at a nonformal learning center in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria. Her classes include social emotional learning, a critical component of programming for education in emergencies. Photo credit: Anna Eisenberg/FHI 360

    In emergency contexts, when many support structures fracture, education can provide protection, heal trauma and inspire hope. Education programs that feature social-emotional learning (SEL) interventions — the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions and develop self-control and interpersonal skills — have the potential for large-scale impact in fragile and humanitarian contexts. SEL is an especially powerful healer for migrants, refugees and children who can be scarred from prolonged insecurity, trauma, loss, violence or separation from family or homeland.

    As new crises seemingly arise every day and existing ones become more protracted, we at FHI 360, the LEGO Foundation and UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report are exploring evidence-based ways to incorporate SEL research and programming for education in emergencies.

    A new policy paper from the GEM Report, Education as Healing: Addressing the Trauma of Displacement through Social and Emotional Learning, draws on the global analysis in the 2019 GEM Report assessment on migration, displacement and education and rigorous new research done in partnership with FHI 360 to compile evidence-based findings on effective SEL approaches. The paper also presents recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders to invest in SEL evidence-generation and programming at global, national and regional levels.

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  • Three ways to develop education curricula for youth in emergency settings

    Education is important for all young people, but it can be lifesaving to youth in emergency settings. Adolescence is a period of significant cognitive, emotional and social change for every young person. For youth in emergency contexts, education can help to protect them from recruitment into armed services, sexual exploitation, abuse and early marriage. It can also build inner resilience by offering stability, normalcy and hope.

    Given the increase in emergencies worldwide and the number of youth who are out of school, it is critical to ensure that educational curricula are holistic, relevant and meet learners’ social-emotional and developmental needs. We believe there are three elements that must be considered to successfully develop curricula for youth in emergency settings.

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  • Two perspectives on the life-changing DREAMS partnership

    The Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe women (DREAMS) partnership aspires to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. These countries alone accounted for more than half of the HIV infections that occurred among adolescent girls and young women globally in 2015.

    DREAMS reaches beyond the health sector to address the direct and indirect factors that increase girls’ HIV risk, such as poverty, gender inequality, sexual violence and inadequate education. Interventions can include paying school fees, providing bicycles to girls who would otherwise walk long distances to school, supplying sanitary napkins for menstrual hygiene management and offering mentoring to help girls avoid early pregnancy, gender-based violence and discrimination. DREAMS is supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare.

    Two young women who participate in DREAMS projects attended FHI 360’s 2018 Gender 360 Summit and discussed how DREAMS is making a difference in their lives. Here are their stories.

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  • Three ways to help female teachers in conflict and crisis contexts

    In education in conflict and crisis (EiCC) situations, community members often take on new roles to provide essential education and psychosocial support services to children. This is especially true for female teachers, who are expected to provide academic and nurturing care to their students while also caring for their families and coping with their own social, emotional and material needs. This is a tall order, and female teachers do not receive the support they need to be as effective — and engaged — as possible.

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  • To achieve equity in education, we need the right data

    A version of this post originally appeared on FHI 360’s R&E Search for Evidence blog.

    As we work to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to education, it is the responsibility of every funding, implementing and research organization internationally to be asking questions about our own contributions to building equity in education. While a great amount of data gets produced in the course of education projects, only a fraction provides the detail that is needed to assess intervention impact on different equity dimensions. At the technical and implementation level, organizations need to capture and use the necessary evidence to understand and respond to inequity in education provision and outcomes.

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  • Reducing conflict through equitable education

    A version of this post originally appeared on the blog of USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network (ECCN). Reprinted with permission.

    The relationship between education inequality and violent conflict is clear: Inequitable access to quality education makes the world less safe. Recent research for UNICEF by FHI 360 found that the likelihood of experiencing violent conflict doubles in countries with high education inequality between ethnic and religious groups, and the reverse is also true; violent conflict increases educational inequalities between groups. Ethnic, religious, and socio-economic divides are clearly problematic, but gender inequality also plays a role: greater equality between males and females decreases the likelihood of conflict by as much as 37%. If the findings are clear, so must be the solutions: It is imperative that the global community find effective ways to address education inequities and tackle the systemic barriers that prevent millions of children around the globe from accessing equitable educational opportunities.

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  • Standing up for science

    Now, more than ever, is a time to stand up for science. The U.S. administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 calls for severe cuts to several key science-generating institutions, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These cuts would result in a deterioration of the science that has allowed the United States to be the global leader in medicine, public health and environmental science. They would also stall progress in global development, an area which has benefited greatly from the many lifesaving solutions produced through science.

    Given the administration’s apparent disregard for science, we should take a step back and ask ourselves what may seem like a simple question: What is science and why does it matter? Of the many definitions, the most basic is the standard dictionary definition: a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular matter. More importantly though, science is a process or way of thinking that seeks to reveal the “truth.” Not knowing the truth about something is like driving through a heavy fog. Science can cut through this fog and reveal the truth.

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  • To support ongoing efforts to improve education in Rwanda, the Mentorship Community of Practice project launched in 2013. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by FHI 360, this project developed an online community of practice that promotes peer learning and sharing of resources; provides access to education resources through an e-library; and helps mentors get support from each other, the Rwanda Education Board and other education programs.

    As a result of the project’s success, USAID decided to expand access to teachers in the Rwanda Education Board’s school-based mentor initiative and to focus on early grade reading in a new program called the Teachers Community of Practice (TCOP), which will be introduced as part of USAID’s Early Grade Reading project launch in February 2017.

    Literacy expert Chantal Uwiragiye talks about the program’s innovations, successes and key learnings.

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  • Education and the SDGs in sub-Saharan Africa

    Over the past decade, there has been important progress in achieving the target of universal primary education. The total enrollment rate in developing regions reached 91 percent in 2015, and worldwide the number of children out of school has dropped by almost half. Still, disparities between children living in the poorest and wealthiest households and between those living in rural and urban areas remain high. How can these disparities be tackled to make education inclusive?

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  • Keeping girls in school in Malawi means better health and a brighter future

    Mary Mittochi

    Photo: Ed Scholl/FHI 360

    In this Q&A, Mary Mittochi, the project director for DREAMS: Malawi Communities Investing in Education for Child Health and Safety, discusses how this new project will reduce the acquisition of HIV by adolescent girls and boys. The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) named FHI 360 as one of the winners of the DREAMS Innovation Challenge. The DREAMS partnership, led by PEPFAR with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare, is helping adolescent girls and young women become Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe.

    As one of the 56 DREAMS Innovation Challenge winners, how will FHI 360 help adolescent girls and young women become Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe?
    FHI 360’s DREAMS: Malawi Communities Investing in Education for Child Health and Safety project will focus on integrated, community-led efforts designed to ensure that education, health and economic drivers for staying in school and completing secondary education are simultaneously addressed and strengthened. Over time, this will reduce the incidence of HIV in adolescent girls and boys. By keeping girls in school and connecting them to a comprehensive range of services and supports, we aim to equip them and their communities with the knowledge and agency they need to make more informed choices about their health and their future.

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