Improving standards for temporary learning spaces

Posted Monday August 01, 2016 by Africa Educational Trust

Improving standards for temporary learning spaces

Our in-country teams regularly participate in events and workshops to share their expertise and the insights they gain from the communities and schools we work with. Lionel Angote, Project Coordinator, shared with us some of his experience working with the Somalia Education Cluster.

The Somali Education Cluster is in the process of developing a 3-year Operational Framework. It is important that the clusters’ key response activities fall in line with the global standards on education in emergencies.  AET, among other partners, was therefore invited by the cluster coordinator to participate in a two-day workshop to develop the standards that will be guiding emergency education interventions in Somalia.  Lionel participated in the workshop together with Daniel Gichohi, also a project coordinator for Somalia projects. The workshop involved an introduction to the INEE Minimum Standards and then the adaption of these standards to fit Somalia’s context.  The standards were developed under the following themes

  • Temporary/Transitional Learning Spaces design
  • Teaching and Learning Materials and textbooks
  • Community Education Committee training (roles and responsibilities)
  • Hygiene promotion and education

We asked Lionel to share a bit on his experience.

What is goal of creating these standards and what will they help accomplish?

The standards would provide a guide for all actors supporting Education in Somalia to guide emergency education interventions when disaster strikes or crisis. While they are based on international standards, having interventions that are tailored to fit within the Somali context will ensure they are appropriate. Having standards ultimately ensures that all children have equal access to the same quality education from education interventions.

Did AET have any particular priorities it wished to advance or any themes it particular wanted to contribute too?

AET brought its knowledge and experience in developing and disseminating teaching and learning materials to the workshop. AET has been working in Education in Somalia for over a decade and currently is involved in curriculum reforms. We were also eager to be brought into the discussions on the construction of temporary learning spaces and recommendations on techniques and approaches.

What discussions did you personally participate in on the themes?

I participated in the temporary learning spaces discussions. It was very interesting to see the varied designs that are available for learning spaces that utilise localised materials. However, one of the challenges is that many engineering departments within universities in Africa don’t offer courses on the use of localised materials in construction, leaving a lack of experts in this area.

The minimum standards on the temporary learning spaces are still under refinement in collaboration with other aspects of emergency response in Somalia and AET will continue to engage in the process.

Written by Lionel Angote


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