24/03/2015
lisa monaghan

World Vision (2014). Education in Emergencies. Assessment of Nine Communities in Upper Nile

The December crisis in 2013 significantly affected the provision of education in Upper Nile State, with OCHA figures estimating nearly 300,000 children are in need of education in the state. Schools have been destroyed or occupied by armed forces or closed due to lack of teachers and facilities. Those schools that do operate do so in overcrowded conditions with few resources.

World Vision already works to address these issues in education. In order to better serve the populations in Upper Nile State, this evaluation surveyed 9 communities to discover their needs for education in emergencies. Children, parents, teachers and key community figures took part in focus groups and qualitative interviews. Among the aims were to identify education disparities, identify local resources, assess the existing educational institutions and identify the existing resources and capability to provide education.

Key findings:
The median estimate from key respondents was that there were 91,932 children aged under 18 in areas surveyed. 44,893 of these were reported to be in school, with around 107 educational venues across the 9 research locations. The pupils surveyed felt that what they were learning in school was useful, but had some concerns about the weakness of the teachers. In particular they linked education to a greater potential for employment in later life. Most communities reported that there were community organisations including Health Clubs, Student Leaders and Farming societies that served the schools.

Teachers had suffered in the crisis and continued to find conditions hard. Most teachers’ focus groups reported the loss of family in the crisis, displacement to nearby towns and the burning and looting of their property. All focus groups reported the loss of salary during the crisis. Delays in payment, and a low payment rate continued to affect teachers, who often had to miss school for a lack of food or needing to attend to other businesses to earn money. Teachers felt that it was important that they were motivated to stay in the profession, and wanted support from the government and NGOs to do this. Adult respondents felt that the largest challenges to education were damaged infrastructure, a lack of latrines and other facilities, and overcrowding. Hygienic facilities were a particularly weak point for all schools, with a lack of drinking water and dirty or otherwise inadequate latrines common across all communities. Children were more likely to specific water and food, better teaching and books for the students. Spaces to play, and balls and skipping ropes were also highly valued by the children, who spoke of being able to play football and volleyball before the crisis. The adult participants reported support within the communities for education, though comparatively few people had post-secondary education themselves. There was a particular need for more psycho-social support in the wider communities, though children felt that they were well supported by friends and family...

Category: Conflict

Sub-category: Community, International Assistance and Interventions