The Education thematic area brings together our thematic education work in Save the Children Members, Country Offices and other parts our movement under one global umbrella. As with the other global thematic areas (Child Protection, Poverty, Health and Nutrition, Child Rights Governance), we unite people from across the movement to share knowledge, discuss new ideas, harmonize approaches and promote joint working to improve the quality of our programming and advocacy across the globe. We work equally across both humanitarian and development contexts.
More than half the world's school-aged children are not learning. Across the world, the most deprived, marginalised and disadvantaged children are the most affected by the learning crisis, such as those caught up in emergencies, facing extreme poverty or discriminated against because of their gender, disability, ethnicity or religion. In this fragile environment, the COVID-19 outbreak created unprecedented risks for education in Pakistan. Schooling was interrupted for about 42 million learners, many of whom were already at high risk of dropping out. We believe that all children, including the most deprived and marginalised, have the right to learn from a quality basic education.
In line with Sustainable Development Goal 4, our education work will support the achievement of all of Save the Children's 2030 breakthroughs (all children Survive, Learn and are Protected).
To support the most deprived children to learn, our work focuses on three areas:
- Start early (Early Childhood Care and Development): We will work with families and communities in the years leading up to school to improve child development outcomes and establish the foundations for learning.
- Foundational learning (Basic Education): We will strengthen the quality of education so children in the early grades learn to read and write in environments that promote their wellbeing.
- Uninterrupted learning (Education in Emergencies): We will ensure no child's learning stops because they are caught up in crisis
· Basic Education
· Education in Emergencies
· Early childhood care and development
· School Health and Nutrition
· Education technology
· Mental health and psychosocial support
· Advocacy and policy
We deliver high quality programmes across our organization and we know what works best to solve some of the biggest problems children face today. By establishing an organisation-wide Common Approach to address these problems, we can replicate our best work and our best thinking and ensure we achieve better results for children in more places across the world.
Currently, SC has six endorsed common approaches in Education and Child development. These include:
· Building brains
· Literacy boost
· Numeracy boost
· Ready to learn
· Safe schools
· Enabling teachers
Save the Children had successfully implemented child protection, health, nutrition, education, emergency response, and economic opportunities programs in 45 districts across Pakistan. Save the Children has an outstanding record of accomplishment of working successfully with communities and the government to improve the lives of children across Pakistan. Our humanitarian response programs in Pakistan reached more than 7.8 million people in 2015 alone. Moreover, in education and child development Save the Children in Pakistan has implemented 47 education projects since 2005 benefitting 1.6 million children and adults in 2,200 schools nationwide.
Early childhood care & development;
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE/D) model was introduced and implemented in 401 government schools in four districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in 2011. This model was then adapted by the KP government and implemented in the entire province in 2015 onwards. A national curriculum was successfully introduced in 2011-15 in 30 madrassahs along with ECCE/D in the district of Battagram.
Literacy and Numeracy Boost approaches aim to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of children in grades 1 to 3. This program was developed in response to the growing evidence of gaps in basic literacy and numeracy learning. The program was implemented in 4 districts of KPK, bunair, abottabad, Peshawar and batagram.
Till 2018; a total of 1,083 primary schools were refurbished nationwide, 155 additional toilets were constructed and safe drinking water facilities were provided in 126 schools in KP, Baluchistan and AJK. Additionally, after the 2005 earthquake, 136 public schools were constructed in KP and AJK.
School Health and Nutrition;
SHN benefited 329 schools and nearly 72,000 children in Pakistan through a number of programs. Till 2014, save the children reached 100 government primary schools and communities in Quetta, Karachi and Lahore. The main interventions were to provide access to safe water and sanitation facilities in 40 schools; as well as deworming, vitamin A and iron supplementation and health education. SHN program in Batagram and Allai sub districts (Batagram district) provided essential SHN interventions to 100 schools reaching around 26,948 in and out of school children.
Alternative pathways to education;
Accelerated Learning for Girls (ALG) project (2018-2021) is designed to cater the educational needs of out of school-girls aged nine to eighteen, giving special consideration to physically challenged girls and girls with special needs by making 70 Accelerate district of Sindh province. The interventions have increased enrolment and drastically decreased the rate of child marriages. The program provided flexibility and best arrangement to capitalize on the pandemic situation where schools were closed, ALG developed a
Distance Learning Model utilizing digital platforms to exchange study material and offer guidance so that these children can continue their study and stay connected with their books.
This model helped them revise their previous learning during time of closure of ALCs centers. As the government has lifted the smart lockdown, Save the Children replaced its Distance Learning Model with face-to-face Girls (ALG) project. After engaging with communities, children and parents regarding re-opening of ALCs, all the Learning Facilitators (LFs) have now formed a group of four to five children in order to ensure COVID-19 SoPs are followed and daily lessons are being delivered group-wise in all ALCs. The project has benefited directly 11,390 (Girls, Boys, Female teachers, Parents and community members) and indirectly around 68,000 individuals so far.
In the wake of Covid-19, we are using Education Technology (EdTech) in our education programming. We believe technology can play an important role in helping to address today’s educational challenges. We do EdTech programming in the following three areas:
- Teacher professional development
- Education management systems.
To cater these areas, Learning Tree is envisioned for continued learning of children affected by disasters or pandemics through remotely managed tailored learning contents, as an app-based learning solution. At its minimum viable product (MVP) stage, Learning Tree is being piloted in Shikarpur district of Sindh, through a sample comprising of 680 children and 680 parents/caregivers in intervention group, and a similar number of participants in control group. Conditional upon enhanced learning outcomes in the intervention group, assessed through improvement in HALDO assessments conducted at the beginning and end of the intervention, Learning Tree will be improved through feedback of children, caregivers, and teachers into an alpha version and presented for utilization to the government and other development agencies working on ensuring Education in Emergencies.