The escalation of the conflict in Cabo Delgado is pushing hundreds of thousands of children from their houses and further disrupting access to education. In the last two weeks of October, more than 200 boats carrying nearly 11,000 people arrived in Pemba, more than 2,600 people on 22 October alone. Almost half of all newly displaced people are children, dozens of them unaccompanied.
In Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula provinces, displaced people sheltering in accommodation centres are in urgent need of basic services, including education, but also water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructures, child protection and psychosocial support.
In preparation for schools’ reopening and support to teachers and children living in settlements for internally displaced people (IDPs), at least 100 temporary learning spaces (TLS) must be established and 200 conventional classrooms are needed in Manica Province. In Sofala, 120 TLS are needed, and 8,000 student kits and 250 teacher kits are to be distributed.
Further sensitization on COVID-19 in schools, through posters and educational pamphlets as well as community-based radio programs are essential to ensure the safety of teachers, students and their families. In Zambezia, the distribution of radio sets to families will facilitate their access to key information on the pandemic.
Although the overall number of children reached through the provision of learning materials in areas affected cyclones Idai and Kenneth surpass those in need, the students are still facing the impact of the storms and now exacerbated by COVID-19. The rehabilitation or reconstruction of classrooms is slow and most children have not received psychosocial support.
In Idai-affected areas, central Mozambique, 2,875 classrooms, with capacity for more than 553,000 children, were rehabilitated. In addition, some 934 TLS are providing education to nearly 112,000. The facilities also benefitted from the rehabilitation of latrines that will serve more than 370,449 children.
Still in the central region, more than 104,600 basic teaching materials (school-in-a-box) were distributed and over 267,000 students received learning materials. Nearly 14,000 teachers and trainers received training in Education in Emergency (EiE), psychosocial support (PSS) and disaster risk reduction (DRR).
In Kenneth affected areas, in northern Mozambique, 246 classrooms were rehabilitated, which can benefit over 13,100 children. In addition, some 114 TLS were built to assist nearly 9,600 children. The rehabilitation of latrines will provide basic sanitation services for about 20,000 children in areas with recurrent disease outbreaks, including cholera.
In Cabo Delgado, more than 9,500 basic teaching materials (school-in-a-box) for teachers were distributed and over 24,340 children received basic learning materials. At least 225 trainers and teachers were trained in EiE and DRR and more 360 teachers received capacity building in PSS.
On the COVID-19 response, almost 140,000 children are receiving distance education. In addition, about 118,000 families and children received orientations on child protection. More than 101,600 children received hygiene kits and nearly 13,500 children were sensitized on COVID-19 risks. Finally, 36,536 children will have access to gender-sensitive latrines.
In Nampula Province, community radio programs led by selected teachers with distance education experience continue in Emakhuwa and Portuguese languages in most districts. In areas with no access to the radio programmes, including Rapale, Mogincual, Moma, Muecate, Nacarôa, children received physical hand-outs of lesson plans, assuring continuity of learning for more than 14,000 children.
In Tete Province, nearly 85,000 people, including teachers, were sensitized COVID-19. More than 1 million lesson plans, at least 10,000 in digital format, have been distributed for the monitoring of learning at home. Radio broadcasting is supporting primary education in most of the province, with 2-hour sessions per day. For secondary education, the radio lessons are three days per week.
With the support of Oxfam and AMME, 75 primary schools in Zambezia benefitted from the distribution of hygiene packages (buckets with taps, masks and soaps).
Across the country, the Education Cluster is also supporting the Government with strategies, policies and guidelines for safe school reopening and continuation of education during the pandemic, including through distance education.
In areas affected by drought in Tete Province, 10,000 learning kits for children, as well as 200 recreation packs and 100 teaching kits were provided with assistance from CESC, with UNICEF support, in 10 districts (Tete, Moatize, Angónia, Tsangano, Macanga, Dôa, Mutarara, Changara, Cahora Bassa e Marávia).
Still in Tete, in the districts of Cahora Bassa, Changara, Doa, Marara and Mutarara, WFP provides a school lunch to more than 153,000 children. With assistance from CESC, 2,030 menstrual hygiene kits and 20 school cleaning kits were distributed.
Due to limited access to TV, radio and internet, there are concerns that most children had no access to education over the last months.
In Nampula, more than 333,000 children from different levels of education are not receiving the physical or digital lesson plans.
In Tete, there are challenges to monitoring the results of distance education. The lack of personal hygiene and school cleaning materials, as well as obstacles to monitoring adherence to the COVID-19 guidelines, pose challenges to ensure the safety of students and their families.
Delays on the rehabilitation of schools destroyed by conflict in Cabo Delgado or climate shocks in several parts of the country constrains access to education. Training in PSS needs to be accelerated, as few teachers and children have been assisted. Training in DRR also needs to be fast-tracked so that the school management committees for disasters can make their local plans and be better prepared.
In Tete, schools destroyed by Idai and the previous rainy season need rehabilitation to prepare an adequate number of classrooms when the academic year resume.