Stories: Why governments need to provide education during and after conflicts and/or disasters - Malawi

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)
Written by
Emily Buyaki via Forum for African Women Educationalists
Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This story was collected as part of INEE's 20th Anniversary commemoration to highlight how education in the midst of crisis and upheaval has made a difference for our members and those they work with (learners, youth, teachers, caregivers, etc.). For more stories, click here.

Why governments need to provide education during and after conflicts and/or disasters

Name: Emily Buyaki

Organization: Forum on African Women Educationalists (FAWE)

Location: Sub-Saharan Africa, Malawi 

At the center of every conflict or disaster, lies a very critical group in the entire population - children. Young, vulnerable and still under the care of their parents and governments, these children’s education gets disrupted more often than not.

The disaster that we are facing today is in the form of a pandemic, Covid-19. Highly infectious, many governments the world over were left with no other choice than to shut down schools for the safety of children. UNICEF estimates that at least a third of the world’s schoolchildren – 463 million children globally – were unable to access remote learning when COVID-19 shuttered their schools. Inequality across regions has seen school children in Sub-Saharan Africa get affected the most whereby close to half the number of school children being unable to access remote learning. 

There is therefore a great need for governments to provide education during unprecedented times such as this and ensure that children continue with learning. This will enable them to keep up with the momentum they once had pre-Covid 19 and not fall behind in their studies. As many countries continue to see a decrease in cases, post Covid recovery and strategy formulation should now take center stage. Governments must work hand in hand with stakeholders and key players in the education sector in order to realize this. A case in point is the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) whose work cannot go unnoticed. Notably, FAWE Malawi was appointed in the national task force on reopening of schools, colleges and universities while FAWE Kenya has been involved in debate and decision making on reopening of schools and working with stakeholders to find long lasting solutions to the increasing numbers of teenage pregnancies during the lockdown.

The views expressed in this blog are the author's own.