Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa Education Newsletter, October 2020

Celebrate the leadership of teachers in crisis in West & Central Africa
Since 1994, October 5 marks the celebration of World Teachers’ Day (WTD) and shines a light on those on whom our education systems largely rely. This year’s theme Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future was an opportunity to relay the voices of all teachers working in emergency, displacement and conflict situations who are going the extra mile to make sure no one is left behind.
Teachers have been on the front line in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly added to the already immense challenges they face in subSaharan Africa. Despite these many challenges, in the WCA region, teachers in emergency and displacement settings have worked hard to find innovative solutions and create new learning environments for their refugee and displaced students to ensure that learning could continue amidst school closures. With UNHCR’s support, nearly 35,000 children were thus supported in the region since March.
Read the testimonies of refugee teachers here.
In many countries, where refugee-hosting areas have poor or no connectivity preventing access to e-learning programs, teachers have prepared take-home packages for their students in and out of camps. Some have regularly checked-in with their students through WhatsApp, while others have proposed home tutoring to students in exam classes. In Chad for instance, refugee and community teachers have set up small learning groups in the camps in order to keep children engaged and learning.
But this daily work carried out by teachers to ensure the right to education and a future for refugee and displaced children is too often endangered in many countries in the region, where they are threatened, kidnapped, or killed for the simple reason that they are teachers.
We need to remember that teachers are the leaders we need to reimagine the future of education in times of crisis and that they need our support to continue to be essential role models for all refugee children around the world who strive to learn regardless of the obstacles.

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

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