Creating Child-Friendly Schools
In partnership with UNICEF, COL is working to enhance the quality of education in schools by mainstreaming Child-Friendly Schools models and approaches into the pre-service and in-service curricula in ten countries: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Trinidad & Tobago and Zambia.
More than 1,000 educators from five Commonwealth countries have taken part in workshops sponsored by COL that promote Child-Friendly Schools. The Child-Friendly Schools approach is based on the concept that quality education is multi-dimensional and concerned with the total needs of the child as the central focus and beneficiary of all education decisions. Quality goes beyond good teaching methods and learning outcomes to also include the health and nutrition status of learners; adequacy of facilities, services and supplies; and the safety of the learning environment.
The main areas of concentration for this project are:
- Integrating Child-Friendly Schools models and approaches into pre-service and in-service teacher training curricula, and training teacher educators and other educational personnel about Child-Friendly Schools, and
- Strengthening the role and Child-Friendly Schools capacity of teacher resource centre managers, schools heads, inspectors and other in-service educational personnel.
Workshops facilitated by COL have focussed on introducing Child-Friendly Schools, reviewing curriculum and developing teacher training materials that incorporate Child-Friendly Schools principles, concepts and methods. Many of the training materials are currently being piloted and will then be made freely available to teacher training institutions.
Ministries of Education and teacher training institutions are showing a strong sense of ownership, demonstrated by their contribution of workshop resources, including facilitators, supplies, venues, transportation costs and accommodation costs.