Education services are crucial to provide in emergencies because:
- It is a right as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international legal instruments.
- Education in Emergencies is life-saving because it provides key survival messages such as land mine safety, HIV and AIDS prevention, prevention from easily preventable diseases such as diarrhoea.
- Education is "life-sustaining" because it offers structure, stability and hope for the future. Educational environments, formal and non-formal, are one of the most important social structures in young people's lives. In the midst of loss and change, absence of learning and schooling intensifies the impact of conflict.
- Education provides for physical, psychosocial and cognitive protection.
- Physical protection example
- Children in schools or safe spaces will have a safe place to go and thus will not leave the camp. This would thereby reduce the risk of abuse, harm and exploitation, violence, and neglect.
- Psychosocial protection example
- Children in schools or child friendly safe spaces will have other young people and adults to talk to and share their experiences with. They will also have a chance to participate in recreational and creative activities through play, drawing, sports, story, song/music, dance and help them get their minds off of the trauma of the emergency.
- Cognitive protection example
- Children in schools or safe spaces will learn important things about preventable diseases, hygiene and how to stay safe from land mines. They may learn a new language such as English or French.
- Affected communities want education. See the video clip.
The INEE Minimum Standards provide a framework to ensure quality education services in emergencies through recovery and development.
Education staff should work in partnership with other sectors (e.g., health, water/sanitation, shelter, camp coordination and camp management) to ensure education is integral to their responses and that aspects of their sectors are integrated into the education provided to affected communities.