Education

  • Community schools support students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic

    For the past six years, FHI 360 has worked with community schools in New York City and Hempstead, Long Island. When COVID-19 hit earlier this year, the way we did our work immediately shifted away from focusing on in-person supports for students and families. Our first hurdle was bridging the digital divide, that gap between who has access to technology and the internet— and the skills to use them — and who doesn’t.

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  • Model shows intersecting secondary impacts of COVID-19 in the United States

    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has been unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. Conditions such as stay-at-home orders, wearing masks in public and the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression affect all of us in different ways.

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  • The future of global development: New interest in distance education

    Around the world, more than 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Living rooms have transformed into classrooms. Lesson plans have gone virtual. What are the challenges that parents, students and teachers are facing as they suddenly shift to remote learning? How have, and how will, the adaptations that school systems are making to continue operating during a pandemic shape education in Africa in the future?

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  • Native communities are already resilient. Here’s how we can help them thrive.

    More than ever, American Indians and Alaska Natives face some of the greatest challenges in the United States. Resources — including food, housing, medical care and family support services — have been inaccessible or nonexistent for years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, those resources have become even scarcer. According to researchers at the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, the COVID-19 crisis is “devastating tribes’ abilities to fund their governmental services and forcing tribes to make painful decisions to lay off employees, drop workers’ insurance coverage, deplete assets and/or take on more debt.” At the same time, some Native communities have experienced disproportionately high numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

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  • Even during COVID-19, Compass Rose helps youth navigate past incarceration

    While the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, imagine you are a young person just out of jail, on parole or dropped out of high school. You are determined to get a new start on your life, and you are focused on getting the education and workforce skills you need to move from surviving to thriving. You already have a steep hill to climb. And then, the pandemic hits and everything becomes more complicated.

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  • The future of global development: The shape of U.S. education in the 2020s

    What are the systems, trends and ideas that are shaping education in the United States? What needs to be done to promote transformative education reform?

    In this episode of A Deeper Look podcast, I speak with education reformer Dr. Warren Simmons, currently Senior Policy Advisor at the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. We draw parallels between the challenges in education reform in the United States and in low-income countries, including how inadequate funding models can perpetuate a cycle of poverty and how successful programs can be difficult to scale and replicate. We also discuss the power of local voices and community organizing and the importance of making our education systems more culturally responsive. Dr. Simmons highlights the need for cross-sector partnerships in order to achieve lasting reform and discusses how schools and communities must work together to adapt to the future.

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  • 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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