Providing quality education and skills for all in countries affected by fragility, conflict, or violence is an urgent development priority. Wherever they are, children must go to school.
WHY IT MATTERS
Countries need strong education systems that promote learning, life skills, and social cohesion. However, systems struggle to deliver education services in adverse contexts such as armed conflict, natural disasters, political crises, health epidemics, and pervasive violence. Education can help mitigate the risks associated with such adversity and help children and youth to succeed despite severe challenges. Countries with fragility, conflict, or violence contexts represent the biggest challenges to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning for all.
The transition from the post-crisis humanitarian aid to sustainable development of education services is a joint effort of governments, development partners, communities, non-governmental organizations, and schools. The key areas of focus include building capacities, strengthening services, and building resilience in contexts of fragility. We need to address different phases of fragility: crisis and violence prevention, crisis response, post-crisis recovery, and addressing the long-term impact of shocks and conflicts including supporting development programs for both displaced and host populations.
1. Build inclusive and adaptable education systems in fragile and adverse environments In contexts of fragility or adversity, education service must continue. Once children drop out of school or are denied opportunities for education, it is difficult to bring them back. We work closely with governments and humanitarian agencies to bridge education services in emergencies and to ensure longer-term education service delivery systems in countries with ongoing crises. At times of emergency or in contexts of fragility, our priority is to help countries build an inclusive and adaptable education system—tapping into various service providers and alternative ways to deliver education, developing interventions to stimulate demand for education, and building curriculum and classroom practices that help address psychological trauma of children and prevent conflict and violence in the future.
2. Strengthen skills and resilience of individuals whose lives and education are affected by adversity Millions of young people miss out on education and acquisition of the skills needed to engage in a productive life because of shocks including displacement, violence, exclusion, or natural disasters. It is imperative that education services are provided for all ages. In addition, those who suffered from discrimination, exclusion, and violence, including gender-based violence, need additional support and empowerment through coaching, mentoring, and psychosocial training. Our multisectoral approach takes into account the need to strengthen individual resilience amidst fragility, conflict, and violence.
3. Improve education services for displaced populations and host communities The forced displacement crisis has worsened over the last decade and the number of refugees around the world has reached 25 million, while that of internally displaced people exceeds 40 million. Many of those displaced are children of school age. Our efforts to make sure these children can learn include scaling up education for refugees in the world’s poorest countries and for those hosted by middle-income countries and looking for innovative approaches to provide education to those who have been displaced from their homes.
The World Bank’s development approach to education in emergencies entails close partnerships with governments, humanitarian agencies, and the international development community.