Archive | February, 2012

UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning e-forum on gender equality from 26 March to 6 April 2012


Despite the continuing commitment of the international community, global figures on girls’ education make it all too clear that many urgent challenges remain to be addressed:

  • some 39 million girls are still out of school;
  • women represent two-thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate adults;
  • only one-third of countries have achieved gender parity at secondary level.

These were among the issues addressed by IIEP’s annual Policy Forum, held in October 2011, Gender Equality in Education: Looking beyond Parity. Among the recommendations of the forum – which drew over 100 people from 35 nations – was to ensure ongoing collaboration with a variety of actors on gender equality issues.

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Ensuring children’s right to education in a fast growing urban society

© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-2138/Kat Palasi Philippines
Children displaced by Tropical Storm Washi look at UNICEF-provided colouring supplies, at a child-friendly space in a high school in the coastal city of Iligan, Northern Mindanao Region. The spaces offer safe places for children to play, learn, and regain a sense of normalcy after a disaster.

By Rudina Vojvoda

NEW YORK, USA, 1 March 2012 – More than one billion children live in urban areas according to UNICEF’s flagship report, ‘The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World’.

On the whole, children in urban areas typically have better educational opportunities than those in rural areas. But for many urban children from marginalized groups – including the children of migrants and children living in slums or on the streets – education remains inaccessible. Many fail to meet registration requirements to enrol in urban schools and others can’t afford education-related costs, such as uniforms, books and supplies.

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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Berliner Philharmoniker gives the gift of music to Haitian schools

© UNICEF Haiti/2012/Palavra
Eight-year-old Liz Curie Alexandre plays the Violins at the Music School Dessaix-Baptiste in Jacmel, Haiti.

By Mariana Palavra

PORT-AU-PRINCE/JACMEL, Haiti, 23 February 2012 – While the UNICEF truck was being unloaded, dozens of heads peered through the narrow windows of the classrooms. The students from Vision Nouvelle School – which was reconstructed by UNICEF after the 2010 earthquake – were curious about the musical instruments slowly emerging from the truck.

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Chaeili Mycroft – an ability activist

By Rudina Vojvoda

NEW YORK, 21 February 2012 – In November 2011 Michaela (Chaeli) Mycroft was awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize for her work and commitment to the rights of disabled children in South Africa.

In 2004, nine-years old Chaeli together with and her sister and friends started what is known as the Chaeli Campaign, an organization that provides equipment, physical therapy and programs to children with disabilities.

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UNICEF presents key report on challenges and opportunities for education and peacebuilding

© UNICEF/NYHQ2012/Malli Kamimura
From L to R: Susan Durston, Associate Director, Education Section; Colin Kirk, Director, Office of Evaluation; Alan Smith, University of Ulster; Mario Novelli, University of Sussex; Zeena Zakharia, Columbia University

By Shimali Senanayake

NEW YORK, 14 February 2012 – Education can play a crucial role in peacebuilding in all phases of conflict, a UNICEF-commissioned study has concluded, outlining how education can help prevent conflict and contribute to long-term peace.

A fundamental human right of a quality education for all children is most at risk during conflict situations. It is precisely at these times that education can impart knowledge and skills that provide protection and access to life-saving abilities. In the longer term, education can provide values and attitudes that offer the basis for addressing the multiple drivers of conflict.

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Education is key to peace and social development

© UNICEF/SRLA2011-0158/Olivier Asselin, Sierra Leone, 2011
Portrait of a girl attending class in a Child Centered classroom at the Ahmadiyya muslim primary school in the village of Gbalahun, Kailahun district

By Rudina Vojvoda

NEW YORK, 9 February, 2012 – Currently, more than 1.5 billion people live in fragile and conflict-affected states. Children living among armed conflict are subject to violence, deprived of basic needs and robbed of developmental opportunities.

But there is a critical measure that can promote peace, even amid unrest: education.

A recent report, The Role of Education in Peacebuilding: A synthesis report of findings from Lebanon, Nepal and Sierra Leone, commissioned by UNICEF and written by Mario Novelli of the University of Sussex and Alan Smith of the University of Ulster, provides evidence that education can be a catalyst for peace and highlights the need for education sectors to integrate a peacebuilding perspective.

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