Archive | April, 2013

Podcast #74: Young people provide strategic advice on education issues

By Rudina Vojvoda

NEW YORK, 29 April 2013 – Members of the Youth Advocacy Group (YAG) gathered last week in Washington, DC, to advise high-level policy-makers on issues around education. Over the next year, the young leaders will provide strategic advice on young people’s priorities, mobilize youth groups and act as a connector between the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) and young people all over the world.

Podcast moderator Femi Oke caught up with Salathiel Ntakirutimana, the representative for Burundi, and Sumaya Saluja, the representative for India. The young leaders talked about their experiences, the role of education in young people’s lives and their work with YAG.

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The challenges of providing quality education in conflict areas

Earlier this month, UNICEF attended a UNESCO-INEE organized symposium on Conflict-Sensitive Education – Why and How? in Paris with Ministers of Education from around the world. Conflict-Sensitive Education is a key component of UNICEF’s new four-year programme on Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy, supported by the Government of the Netherlands. The “Learning for Peace” programme explores innovative ways to build sustainable peace through education in 14 countries around the world.

Ministers of Education from programme countries including Chad, Liberia and Uganda, as well as the Deputy Minister of Education from Sierra Leone and government representatives from the Democratic Republic of Congo joined the day-long discussion, highlighting gaps in funding and considering best practices to integrate conflict sensitive tools into education policies and programmes. For more on the symposium see the below webstory from our partners UNESCO and INEE. For more information on the PBEA programme visit:

©UNHCR / H. Caux
Children from the Central African Republic, who were displaced by an attack on their village, attend class at a bush school near the Chadian border.

The challenges of providing quality education in conflict areas

Conflict-affected countries called for better strategies to ensure that conflict-prevention is integrated into education policies and programmes and that education is not overlooked by donors and humanitarians.

UNESCO recently welcomed Ministers of Education from Chad, Liberia, Mali, Palestine, and Uganda, as well as the Deputy Minister of Education from Sierra Leone and government representatives from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya, to talk about their experiences of providing quality education during and after a conflict. Together with numerous ambassadors and representatives from the Permanent Delegations to UNESCO, UN agencies, bilateral organizations, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academia and civil society organizations, they participated in the symposium Conflict-Sensitive Education – Why and How?, supported by Comic Relief, the European Commission, UNICEF, and USAID.

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School failure affects more than 3.5 million children and adolescents in Central America

©UNICEF/NYHQ2007-2756/Claudio Versiani
An indigenous girl holds a piece of chalk at the Xemanzana School in Salquil Grande, in the municipality of Ixcán, Guatemala.

Press Release

The study notes the progress made in education in the region and the ‘bottlenecks’ that still prevent the universalization of basic education

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, April 17, 2013 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Central American Educational and Cultural Coordination of Central American Integration System (CECC / SICA) launched today, in a joint effort, the report Finishing school in Central America: the pending challenges.

Finishing school is based on official statistics of the educational systems of the Central American countries, Belize and the Dominican Republic.

The results show the great progress that countries have made in enrollment: almost all children and adolescents between 8 and 11 years attend school, since education systems have attained universality for this age.

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Activist Grace Akallo says stay steadfast and committed to bring peace through education

By Shimali Senanayake

NEW YORK, 11 April 2013 – Teaching children to make peace in the classroom, on the playground, at home and in their communities can have a lasting impact on children to live in a world free of violence and conflict, said Grace Akallo, activist, formerly associated with an armed group.

Ms. Akallo spoke to UNICEF Television after a recent meeting on ways to end violence against girls in school.

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Ban urges ‘redoubled’ safety measures amid increasing violence against teachers

This story was originally posted by the UN News Centre. The original post can be found here.

© IRIN/Sumaira Jajja
School children attending class at Noor Model School in Shamshatoo, Pakistan.

1 April 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the recent spate of fatal attacks on teachers in Pakistan, while voicing great concern about the growing trend of violence against educators around the world.

“Violence against teachers undermines confidence in education systems, traumatizes students, and discourages parents from sending children to school,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

“Attacks on women teachers are particularly heinous because they disproportionately affect the girl students for whom they serve as role models,” it added.

Mr. Ban’s condemnation comes on the heels of the killing of Shahnaz Nazli, a 41-year-old teacher murdered by unknown gunmen on a motorbike in the town of Shahkas, in the Khyber Agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas. According to media reports, no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Ms. Nazli’s death follows the killing of five teachers in January near the town of Swabi in the volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, located in the north of the country near the Afghan border.

In his statement, Mr. Ban called for schools to be respected as “safe and secure learning spaces” and urged local and national authorities the world over “to redouble their efforts to provide security in this area” and ensure that perpetrators of violence against teachers are brought to justice.

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