UNICEF Iran supports the MoE in improving access and quality of education
This story was originally posted by UN Iran.
Ministry of Education Experts Build up Capacities on Life Skills Education and Child Friendly Schools
A team of Iran’s Ministry of Education officials including senior education planners and a number of school principals from Tehran and Alborz provinces went through a series of technical discussions and exchange of information on Life Skills Education and Child Friendly Schools led by education specialists from UNICEF’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional office and the International Youth Foundation in a workshop jointly organized by Ministry of Education and UNICEF Iran Office from 21st to 24th August 2016 in Tehran.
The workshop on life skills education was inaugurated on 21st August with opening remarks by Vice Education Minister in International Affairs, Dr Babalou, Advisor to Deputy Minister of Education in Secondary School, Dr Hosseini and UNICEF Representative in Iran, Dr Will Parks.
In the opening ceremony, Dr Hosseini referred to the many challenges that mankind faces today including inequity, violence and unemployment and said:” hopefully through a proper education system and training children on life skills we can overcome these challenges. “
UNICEF Representative in Iran Dr Parks and Advisor to Deputy Minister of Education in Secondary School, Dr Hosseini spoke in the opening ceremony of workshops
In his remarks, Dr Parks highlighted the importance of life skills for young people especially in the crisis-stricken MENA region with a growing youth population and an alarmingly high unemployment rate. He described life skills as education that: “helps young people develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, builds their sense of personal worth and agency, and teaches them to interact with others constructively and effectively.”
Dr Parks also emphasized the importance of the environment in which life skills learning takes place and said: “Life skills education is not a ‘silver bullet’. Whether formal or informal – life skills learning does not take place in a vacuum, and the ultimate expression of life skills learning – adaptive and positive behaviour – is greatly influenced by the environment in which individuals live, learn and act.”
In this training, participants were exposed to successful experiences from Iran and other countries in life skills education and discussed lessons learned and challenges in this area.
Facilitators coached a second workshop in the same week on Child Friendly Schools with a focus on monitoring and evaluation at school level. In the opening ceremony on 23rd August, senior Ministry of Education officials and the UNICEF Representative in Iran highlighted some of the vital components of Child Friendly schools and its importance in providing equitable access and quality education for all children.
In his speech, Dr Parks emphasized that the implementation of Child Friendly schools is in line with Sustainable Development Goal no.4 on Quality Education as it greatly contributes to building an inclusive and engaged learning environment where the child is fully involved in the learning process and efforts are made to include as many children as possible in the education system regardless of their socio-economic situation or learning abilities.
Dr Parks also referred to the principle of protective environment in child friendly schools and said: “As well as protecting children from physical danger and health risks, a child-friendly school pays special attention to children’s emotional, psychological and physical well-being, protecting them from verbal and emotional abuse and the trauma of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, ethnic prejudice or intrusiveness by teachers and peers. This is in line with Sustainable Development Goal no. 16 on peace, justice and strong Institution which includes prevention of child abuse.”
The workshop on Child Friendly Schools focused on ‘INSAF’ framework or ’equity’ in Arabic and Persian – a framework that strengthens the capacity of schools to monitor and manage equitable access and learning, based on two interconnected factors of school based action and school based monitoring and evaluation.
Senior education planners at the Ministry of Education and a number of school principals from Tehran and Alborz provinces attended the workshops