Approximately 1.3 million children need protective services and safe education in Tigray and neighbouring areas, as the conflict disrupted their learning process. According to the Ministry of Education, approximately 25 per cent of schools in Tigray have been damaged, and about 48,500 teachers need psychosocial support.
Considering emerging protection concerns over the school re-opening process, there is a pressing need to further engage with communities and facilitate grassroots-level discussion to sufficiently take into consideration their needs and priorities. According to the Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) in Mekelle, there are significant safety concerns over the school re-opening process, which became apparent when 55 primary school teachers did not attend the planned training the previous week due to fear of attack. Ensuring the safety of children and teachers at schools is of paramount importance.
Many schools across the Region are currently being used as temporary shelters for displaced people, as well as by various security forces. There are about 5,000 displaced people sheltering in eight schools in Mekelle Town alone, according to UNICEF field reports.
Poor water, sanitation and hygiene services in the learning spaces continue to be a major concern for the safe reopening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other disease outbreaks.
Increasing food insecurity is also considered a barrier to continuing education, according to the Education Cluster.
The assessment outside Mekelle is ongoing with findings due at the end of March 2021
The education cluster priority is to support school re-opening where security allows, while setting up Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) for displaced people and host communities in areas where schools are damaged or occupied
Education Cluster is also prioritizing synergy between accelerated pre-primary and primary education services and psychosocial support for teachers/school personnel. In the medium-term, the Cluster’s strategy will focus on rehabilitation of damaged classrooms and school facilities, in addition to providing supplies for preventing the spread of COVID-19
Tigray sub-national Education Cluster provided orientation on Education in Emergency (EiE) and assessment techniques to 35 enumerators drawn from REB and partners through the technical support of UNICEF and partners.
Discussions held with 45 schoolteachers on safe school reopening protocols
Imagine 1 Day deployed a programme coordinator to co-lead the zonal Education Cluster in Shire.
According to the Emergency Coordination Centre, a lack of information and safety and security concerns are the two main barriers for the safe reopening of schools
Lack of technical expertise among partners in Tigray for data analysis on joint education needs assessments