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Education system of countries should have crisis-sensitive policies: UNESCO

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Citing the conflict in Ukraine UNESCO says all the countries must have plans to prepare, respond and recover from such emergencies.“Education systems are often under-prepared in the face of crises, whether in terms of welcoming the sudden arrival of refugee children, protecting the safety of learners and teachers, or having to quickly shift to remote learning,” according to UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report.

“All countries must have plans to prepare for, respond to, and recover from crises, which are lacking in many countries and hence it makes already chaotic situations more complicated and leaves frontline actors with limited guidance and tools to respond effectively,” it added.

The Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) is developed by an independent team and published by UNESCO. As the pandemic has shown, teachers make a crucial contribution to ensuring continuity of learning and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their students, they also need to receive adequate support to play the supportive role that learners need.

“Applying an emergency and crisis-sensitive lens in the development and implementation of national teacher policies is essential to ensure that teachers can act as critical agents of support and protection to ensure that quality, inclusive education continues and to promote social cohesion and resilience.

“This involves anticipating and addressing challenges of recruitment, deployment, retention, and training, while also ensuring teacher well-being, job security, and safe and enabling working conditions,” the report said.

“As illustrated by COVID-19, teachers, who are themselves affected by the crisis, often act as critical agents of support to colleagues and students alike. They can foster a sense of safety and normalcy while supporting families and communities with important information. Their support to learners is essential, but teachers can only tap into this role if their needs are first addressed,” it said.

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