Safeguarding the right to education in Yemen

08 November 2019

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A child plays in the streets of Sana'a, Yemen.

Since the outbreak of conflict in 2011, learners, teachers, and education staff in Yemen have demonstrated resilience to ensure the continuation of education. However, the devastating humanitarian crisis has taken its toll.

The safety and security of education personnel and learners remain threatened. Schools have been destroyed or damaged, occupied by armed groups or used as shelters by displaced persons. Almost two million children are out of school, over four million need support to access education, and over 20 per cent of all basic and secondary schools are closed. As a result, children and youth are not receiving the education they need to thrive.

A new chapter for education in Yemen

However, the future of education in Yemen is entering a new phase with the recent launch of a three-year Transitional Education Plan (TEP). This short-term plan supports national authorities and their partners in not only mitigating the negative effects of the crisis on the education system but in putting in place a series of prevention and preparedness measures. Its overall aim is to safeguard learners and teachers and strengthen the resilience of the education system to retain important gains made in the past decade.

The TEP includes four key priorities, including:

  1. Safe, equitable access to education,
  2. Improved teaching and learning,
  3. Rehabilitation of educational infrastructure and provision of equipment, and
  4. Strengthened institutional capacities.

These objectives originally came from an Education Situation Analysis (ESA), which provides an analysis of education needs and key challenges that learners, teachers, and education staff face to provide and access safe, quality education.

Bridging political divisions

The process of preparing a TEP for the whole-of-Yemen allowed education staff to bridge political divisions for the sake of Yemen’s children. Under the leadership of the regional UNESCO office in Beirut, IIEP-UNESCO provided technical support to the Ministry of Education’s staff and partners in the development of the plan.

3 questions for an educational planner from Yemen

 

Randa Bamuqabel played an instrumental role in the development of Yemen’s new three-year education plan. In 2018-2019, she pursued a one-year training with IIEP-UNESCO to help support her country in planning for a stronger education system.

How will you apply what you learned at IIEP to your professional life?

I will be able to provide recommendations to the planning department in the Ministry of Education; help to begin the implementation phase of the Transitional Education Plan for Yemen; facilitate communication between stakeholders; and contribute to develop the monitoring and evaluation frameworks for plans and projects, among other things.

What are the three most challenging barriers to equal access to education for all?

Three challenges are poverty and living standards, early marriage for girls, and a lack of special programmes for children with special needs, IDPs, refugees and very poor learners to get quality education.

How will you remember your time at IIEP in a few years?

I will remember it as one of the most productive periods of my life. I learned a lot and my self-confidence has increased, as well as my awareness of the importance of equity and gender equality. My knowledge of the sustainable development goals has also increased and I really want to help develop my country to keep up with these goals.