An estimated 246 million girls and boys experience violence in and around schools – on the way to school, on school grounds, and within classrooms. This violence takes many forms and often has a long-lasting impact on children’s lives and the future of their communities and societies. It reduces school attendance and hinders learning. Sometimes, this violence even prevents children, especially girls and children from marginalized groups, from attending school and pursuing an education altogether. This has detrimental effects on all children, but especially those already impacted by crisis.
Education plays a crucial role in providing a sense of normalcy and continued learning during and post crises, but it also has important physical, psychosocial and cognitive protective functions. In crisis contexts, for education to truly be effective, it must incorporate critical violence prevention features and response mechanisms that keep all learners and education personnel safe and secure.
The joint Safe to Learn (STL) – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) guidance note, Embedding Violence Prevention and Response in Education in Emergencies and Protracted Crisis Settings, explains how to mainstream violence prevention and response in education programmes in emergencies and protracted crisis situations. Enabling a protective environment requires a set of actions, incentives and accountability mechanisms to be embedded in education responses. STL and ECW have therefore joined forces and built on their comparative advantages to develop a user-friendly operational guideline for practitioners in the field, in emergencies and protracted crises.