Many teachers have provided extra support for girls during the pandemic – and meet the amazing great-grandmother who goes to school at 99.
Teachers have become pandemic guides for girls
Many teachers took on additional “humanitarian roles” to ensure marginalized girls did not drop out of school when the pandemic closed schools.
Researchers found that in addition to their educational duties, teachers became “trusted confidants” – providing child protection, health care and emotional support to female students.
The report assesses the impact of Covid-19 on UK-funded Girls’ Education Challenge projects in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Ghana. It revealed that 85% of teachers surveyed had provided “some form of physical or mental health assistance” beyond their normal roles.
One of the report’s authors, Professor Pauline Rose of the University of Cambridge, said: “As schools closed, GEC projects underwent a transformation, operating not just as educational initiatives but taking on a humanitarian role. Without this, the impact of the pandemic on girls’ learning could have been even more severe.
Many community-based teachers had vital direct contact with students. This meant that in addition to offering personal help, they could refer struggling students to community or social services.
Professor Rose – who has written major reports on early childhood education for Theirworld – added: “The extra work they [teachers] affected their own mental health, led to burnout and added strain on their home lives. »
New UNICEF chief unveils education goals
The new head of UNICEF says innovations to transform education and support girls should be major targets for the international community.
Catherine Russell has succeeded Henrietta Fore as executive director of the United Nations children’s agency. In his first major speechshe said 616 million children are still affected by school closures and disrupted education in developing countries has left up to 70% of 10-year-olds unable to read properly.
She added: “Schools need to help children regain their physical and emotional well-being. We must transform education in these trying times – innovate and forge new partnerships to reach the children most at risk of being left behind. »
She said UNICEF “will continue to advocate for investing in girls and removing barriers and practices that hold girls back.”
The student who just turned 99
A woman who celebrates her 99th birthday today has told how she went back to school in Kenya’s Rift Valley to set a good example for her great-grandchildren.
Priscilla Sitienei, who is in the sixth grade at primary school, wears the same school uniform consisting of a gray dress and a green jumper as the other students.
The government of Kenya began subsidizing the cost of primary education in 2003, enabling some older people who had no education in their youth to rekindle their dreams.
A film about Priscilla’s educational journey – titled Gogo after the local word for grandma – will soon be released in New York. She said she enjoys other school activities such as PE class, adding, “I can jump, although it’s not as much as them, but I at least move my body.”
Cyclone destroys dozens of schools
A cyclone that hit parts of Madagascar took 10,000 children out of school.
In the east of the island, 69 schools were completely destroyed, 439 schools were damaged and 55 saw their roofs torn off, according to Save the Children.
Cyclone Batsirai killed more than 20 people – including five children – and displaced more than 60,000, while destroying crops that needed to be harvested.
Tatiana Dasy, Save the Children’s program director for Madagascar, said: “As many as 10,000 people who were able to go to school last week are without education this week. After two years of school exclusion because of Covid-19, this is the last thing children need.
Back to school after a year in Vietnam
More than 17 million Vietnamese students will return to school for the first time in nearly a year.
The Southeast Asian country lifted many of its pandemic curbs in October – but most students had been confined to taking online classes since the start of last year.
Some in-person classes for high school students have started this week and all students will be back this week. Primary and pre-primary schools will also reopen in February.
Vũ Minh Trí, an eighth-grade student in Hanoi, says Asia News Network: “I feel very happy and excited because it’s been a long time since I went to school.”