CBM celebrates International Day of Education 2020

This photo shows an older Bangladeshi woman with many younger children in a small room, which serves as a CFS. They are playing some games together.

Teacher Shanti Barua (centre) leads activities for refugee children in the CDD - CBM inclusive child friendly space (CFS) in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh in August, 2018.
© CBM/Hayduk

On 24th January each year the world recognises the International Day of Education. This day aims to promote the role of education for peace and development.

There are numerous challenges to be overcome in reaching the aspiration of education and lifelong learning for all by 2030. Consider the following statistics: Over 258 million children and youth still do not attend school; 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic mathematics; while less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school. 
This year’s theme is “Education for people, planet, prosperity and peace". CBM supports the call to emphasise the need for equitable Education in Emergencies (EiE). 

How CBM contributes to education in emergencies

In Bangladesh CBM has partnered with Centre for Disability and Development (CDD), UNICEF and other education partners to implement an inclusive EiE service for Rohingya refugees.

As of 9 Jan 2019, 909,0003 Rohingya are living in different camps and host communities in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. 12% refugee households are reported to have a family member with a permanent disability. At the beginning of this crisis, most of the persons with disabilities and older age population were not able to reach the service providers. Few services were found to accessible e.g. toilets, water sources, education centres, access around camps and distance to health and distribution points. An urgent need was identified for reaching persons with disabilities in health, education and rehabilitation services. It was also imperative that their mental health needs are addressed as well.

CDD and CBM started providing services in health, rehabilitation and supporting capacity building for disability inclusive education among UNICEF education actors. These activities are being implemented at Rohingya camps and host communities. CBM also supports the provision of different types of assistive devices hearing aids, walking sticks & frames. Psychosocial counsellors provide counselling services both at the Rohingya camp and the host community. The CDD run health clinic at the camp offers vision testing, spectacle provision, cataract surgery, audiometric testing for hearing loss as well as hearing aids.

All these services assist children with disabilities to access education in the Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs) and learning centres available.

The CFSs provide a protective learning environment for children where they can participate in organised activities to play, socialise, learn, and express themselves. The key principles for planning, developing and operating child-friendly spaces includes an inclusive and non-discriminatory approach. Currently, 100+ Rohingya children including children with disabilities are enrolled in 100 centres operated in 3 shifts. Regular capacity development and on-going support is provided to teachers from the 100 centres. Our partner CDD has also developed materials and resources, which can be used to support the educational development of all children in the centres, with specific resources for supporting children with disabilities.

CBM’s work in Inclusive Education

CBM believes that all boys and girls, including those with disability have a right to be in school. Supporting and advocating for quality inclusive education, CBM takes a human rights approach to disability and inclusive development

CBM supports and advocates for inclusive education as the most appropriate option for learners with a disability. This approach requires specialist support and development of local skills and capacity, and is often linked with inclusive resource facilities.

CBM encourages partners to identify people with a disability or at risk of developing a disability as early as possible. There is a focus on early interventions and early childhood development service provision within a community based inclusive development approach. It also recognises the important role that men and women with a disability play in being role models for young children and the example of what is possible for parents and caregivers. It supports adults in perusing higher educational opportunities in becoming qualified teachers.

In 2018 CBM supported 46,431 people to access education services. Of this total 39,008 were children. In addition, 19,136 teachers were trained and 6,201 parents.

65% of all children were included in mainstream schools. The remaining 35% were educated in specialised centres, or home-based education. CBM is supporting partners running specialised centres to transform into resource centres for supporting inclusive education.