Urgent call to protect education in emergencies

Conflicts, climatic and environmental disasters and public health emergencies have a devastating impact on the right to education of millions of people. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges to realizing the human right to education were already enormous, with an estimated 35 million displaced children globally and almost half of school-aged refugee children not attending. at school. [1]

The mobilization of the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) during this Global Action Week for Education (GAME) 2022 is a pivotal moment for education rights activists around the world. More than 100 countries, hundreds of local, national and international civil society organizations and millions of people from all corners of the world come together to defend and advocate for the right to inclusive and equitable quality education and to lifelong learning opportunities for all, to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) on education.

#SAME2022 may be more important than ever. GCE calls on States, world leaders and the international community to take the necessary steps to ensure education in emergencies, in line with the Protect Education in Emergencies Now! campaign. There are devastating examples of how the right to education is violated for millions of people living in emergencies around the world. The most recent are the deliberate attacks on schools in Ukraine, but there are many more that we have witnessed for years.

Yemen continues to bear the impact of nearly 8 years of war, in what is arguably the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, which has left an estimated 8.1 million school-aged children without access to education [2]. Meanwhile, in Ethiopia, 2.7 million school-age children are out of school, 240 schools are being used to house displaced families, and another 2,500 schools are damaged or partially damaged. In Bangladesh, 78% of young people say their education has been affected by climate change, ranging from dropping out of school due to floods (25%) to the impact of having to travel to school (23%). [4].

These crises are getting worse by the minute and the children in the areas affected by the emergency need our voices to be heard!

A week of action!

Each day of SAME 2022 there will be regional policy dialogue focusing on different aspects of education in emergencies. On the final day, Friday 29 April, the GCE Secretariat will organize a high-level global event on education in emergencies, which will address issues of educational inclusion in displacement contexts.

Below is more information on some of the events taking place during SAME 2022:

Monday April 25, 2022: The launch event for SAME 2022 in the Arab region will be a regional policy dialogue on education in emergencies, organized by the Arab Campaign for Education for All. The event will start at 2:00 p.m. Palestine time / 3:00 p.m. CET. Link to register: https://bit.ly/GAWEACEA

Tuesday, April 26, 2022: On the occasion of SAME 2022, the Latin America region will hold a dialogue on education in emergency contexts in Latin America and the Caribbean: gender, debt and digitalization, organized by the Latin American Campaign for the Right to education. The event will start at 11:00 a.m. Brazil time / 4:00 p.m. CET. Link to register: https://bit.ly/GAWECLADE

Wednesday April 27, 2022: The Asia-Pacific region will host its SAME event entitled “Protecting Education in Emergencies Now: An Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue”, organized by the Asia-South Pacific Association for Adult and Basic Education ( ASPBAE). The event will start at 1:00 p.m. Manila time / 7:00 a.m. CET. Link to register: https://bit.ly/aspbaegawe

Thursday April 28, 2022: On the occasion of SAME 2022, the Africa region will organize a regional policy dialogue on education in emergencies in Africa, led by the African National Campaign for Education for All (ANCEFA). The event will start at 8:00 a.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. GMT / 2:00 p.m. CET. Registration link: https://bit.ly/GAWEANCEFA

Friday April 29, 2022: On the last day of SAME 2022, the GCE Secretariat and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) are hosting a global discussion titled Ensuring Equal Access to Learning in Displacement: Measures to Address Discrimination and exclusion. The event will begin at 8:00 a.m. EST / 2:00 p.m. CET / 8:00 p.m. Manila time. Link to register: https://bit.ly/GAWEGLOBAL

The call to action:

The Global Campaign for Education urges states to live up to the campaign Protect education in emergencies now! campaign slogan by implementing, among others, the following recommendations:

Protect education from attack by adhering to and complying with the Safe Schools Declaration, adopted in 2015.
Provide safe and accessible learning environments for all people in emergency contexts, without discrimination based on gender, disability, race, ethnicity or any other factor.
Develop and implement crisis-sensitive national education plans and budgets, and promote the equitable and sustainable inclusion of refugees, asylum seekers, returnees, stateless persons and displaced persons in national education systems.
Ensure adequate protection, training and compensation for teachers.
Promoting truly transformative education to lay the foundations for peace.
Hear the voices of those affected by emergencies – civil society organizations, communities, families, teachers – who are the first responders in such situations. Their experiences, views and stories are essential and must be taken into account in the development and implementation of education plans and policies.

About the Global Campaign for Education (GCE)

GCE is a leading civil society movement that promotes and defends education as a fundamental human right. GCE has over 127 members, including 94 national education coalitions, 18 international NGOs and 15 regional networks and youth-led organisations. GCE defines education as a basic human right that lays the foundation for all development and is a catalyst for growth. As an international organization, GCE believes that education is key to ensuring sustainable and equitable economic growth and improving health and social development.

For more information please contact

Philani Ndebele
Communications officer (GCE)
[email protected]
+27 11 447 4111


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