By Suzanne Grant Lewis, IIEP-UNESCO


New resources available to help countries build resilience through educational planning and curriculum.

Both natural hazards and conflict have devastating effects on education systems. When education is interrupted, classrooms destroyed, educational resources stretched, and when the safety and wellbeing of teachers and students are endangered, children’s futures are threatened. 

This is the case for one in three of the 124 million out-of-school children who live in a fragile or conflict-affected country. Education 2030 acknowledges the reality of children in conflict and disaster-affected countries and urges these countries to implement policies and strategies to ensure that the right to a quality education is delivered, no matter the circumstances.

Educational planning key to protecting education

It is crucial that education systems prepare for such events by developing plans, policies, and capacities that ensure education personnel and learners react effectively during times of crisis. 

Resilient education systems that foster tolerance, promote equity and inclusion, and strengthen social cohesion can also help pull countries out of cycles of turbulence, and secure brighter futures for generations to come.

When responding is not enough 

An increasing number of countries acknowledge that merely responding to crises is no longer sufficient. Instead, ministries of education are looking for ways to strengthen their capacities to anticipate and address the causes of crises.

Good planning for crises in education—whether due to disaster or conflict—can save the lives of students and teachers. It can also significantly reduce the cost of rebuilding or repairing expensive infrastructure. This frees resources for investing in prevention measures.

How can countires plan for crises? 

In practical terms, planning for crises is not so different from regular educational planning. However, it makes sure that a crisis-sensitive approach is adopted at every step of the planning process.IIEP supports many countries in implementing a crisis-sensitive planning process.

This is accomplished through the development of an education sector plan aimed to ensure children’s safety and foster their resilience.

New resources to help countries build resilience 

Planning for resilience has been mainstreamed into IIEP’s training materials and is increasingly becoming part of its technical cooperation activities.

A newly developed set of resource booklets for education planners and curriculum developers on safety, resilience and social cohesion can also be accessed via an online resource database

This is an abridged version of a blog first published by the Global Partnership for Education. 


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