NWSW Cameroon Region: Emergency Education Project Update: July 2020
COVID-19 messaging: All community learning spaces have been modified in response to COVID-19 safety rules as guided by the COVID-19 CLUSTER risk matrix. Number of learners in each centre reduced to no more than 50 learners and home learning groups established. Learners are required to wear masks in the learning spaces. Parents were also sensitised to COVID 19. All local partners through their individual funding provided washing buckets and soap to the learning spaces.
Main results / status of project activities:
As the UN's specialised agency for education, UNESCO has a global mandate to lead, coordinate and monitor the implementation of the Education 2030 MDG4: "Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all".
As such, UNESCO has an important role to play in working with Member States and partners to strengthen the resilience of education systems and improve the delivery of quality education in a crisis context. Increasingly recognise the importance of areas where UNESCO has valuable contributions to make - such as bridging humanitarian and development interventions, addressing the root cause of vulnerability, or strengthening capacity planning and management for crisis response and recovery. Although UNESCO is not a humanitarian agency, its sectoral mandate in education and its role as custodian of the Education 2030 Agenda uniquely and strategically positions the organisation to help strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus in the education sector. UNESCO's work in this area is based on the Education 2030 Agenda, which aims to "design education systems that are more resilient and responsive to conflict, social unrest and natural hazards - and to ensure that education continues to function in emergencies. conflict situations, subsequent periods".
UNESCO is a founding member of the International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) and is committed to the Education Cannot Wait Fund for Education in Emergencies. UNESCO's response to education in emergencies (EiE) in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon is part of its global education strategy to address educational needs in emergencies and crises at the international level. It contributes to the NOSO education cluster strategy (2019-2020), aligned with the 2019 and 2020 humanitarian response plans. UNESCO's response aims to rapidly improve access to inclusive and safe learning opportunities for vulnerable out-of-school children in the crisis-affected North. West and South West regions of Cameroon, through the following interventions:
While applying the Global UNESCO Avicenna Virtual Campus model, UNESCO produces pre-recorded lessons and online/offline essential skills-based learning materials specifically targeting out-of-school children in the Northwest and Southwest regions. In order to ensure that the learning materials are culturally, socially and linguistically relevant and appropriate to the context of the North West and South West regions, UNESCO has applied the Universal Competency Standards to define the profile and needs of the learners, as well as the mastery of the skills developed in each area. The content of the learning materials covers primary grades 1, 2 and 3 in mathematics, English language, science and technology and life skills, and secondary grade 1 in mathematics, English language, physics, chemistry, biology and life skills.
The process of designing and producing learning materials is led by leading academics in the field of pedagogy and information, communication and technology from the UNESCO Avicenna virtual campus network. In order to facilitate the distribution of these learning materials to communities and learning spaces, UNESCO will train facilitators, with pedagogical training, on how to use these materials and assist out-of-school children in the learning process. The production and distribution of additional learning materials in mother tongues will be initiated to further stimulate and facilitate access to basic education, especially for conflict-affected primary school children.