Conflict Sensitive Education Training in Kibondo, Tanzania: Wia Mae’s reflections on CSE and EiE

Conflict Sensitive Education
Professional Development

Wia-Mae Koha Mmari shares her thoughts on the CSE training and opportunities for training on education in emergencies.

This blog post is part of a series entitled Learning Journeys of Conflict Sensitive Education Trainers, highlighting reflections on a set of trainings delivered in 2019 as part of a joint NRC, and INEE project funded by DG INTPA, called “Never too late to learn” in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania.


One of the essential rights for the adequate development of human personality is education. The Declaration of Human Rights (1948) Article 26, states that everyone has the right to education. However, delivering this right to those in emergencies and crises is not an easy task. Education is a means by which people in crisis/ refugees will be able to liberate themselves thus being an asset to the society in which they live rather than a liability. In this case refugees should be accorded the same educational opportunities as nationals from the host country.

What interested me most,was how well organized INEE has prepared the resources and materials in order to provide better quality education in emergencies. The CSE training uses INEE’s Minimum standards, which can be found in a handbook called INEE MS where they (MS) are structured according to 5 domains, the domains are:

  1. Foundational Standards
  2. Access and Learning Environment
  3. Teaching and Learning
  4. Teachers and Other Education Personnel
  5. Education Policy

The focus of the INEE Minimum Standards handbook is on ensuring quality, coordinated humanitarian response, meeting the educational rights and needs of people affected by disaster through processes that assert their dignity. These standards were developed based on the right to education. The Minimum Standards (WHY) are derived from these rights that populations affected by disaster or conflict have the right among other things to relevant education. Standards are followed by a series of key actions (WHAT), which are suggested ways to achieve the standard; finally guidance notes are specific points of good practice when applying minimum standards that is the HOW. The materials are very well organized, and show that a lot of time and keenness has been dedicated to the work.

I was also very much interested in Domain 3 i.e. Teaching and Learning which has 4 standards: Curriculum; Training Professional Development and Support; Instruction and Learning processes; Assessment of Learning outcomes. It has interested me because of my profession as a teacher, and a curriculum specialist.


Curriculum is all that goes on under the auspices of a school, and an overall plan that qualifies a learner for completing a particular level. There has to be a set of curriculum for the learners as well as for the teachers so that teachers are equipped to take learners through their curriculum. The learner’s curriculum can only be effective when those that are implementing the curriculum (teachers) are equipped with the required knowledge and skills for smooth implementation. In identification of the curriculum, instruction and learning process have to be considered. The curriculum is what guides instruction, whereas instruction is the teaching practices that occur as a result of curriculum implementation. Curriculum directs instructions while instruction is a means by which the curriculum is delivered. Assessment of learning refers to confirmation of what students know, it demonstrates whether or not they have met curriculum outcomes or goals. 

The curriculum taught in the refugee camps should consider a blend of the host’s and their country of origin, which will enable them (refugees) to contribute both to the economy of the host and the country of their origin upon their return in the future. As is seen in standard 1, in the teaching and learning domain the curriculum should be appropriate to a particular context and needs of the learner. Yet the teachers who are the main implementers of the curriculum need to have an awareness on education in relation to emergencies.  as some of the interests of the participants, were to know what CSE and EiE are. A student is just as good as his teacher therefore a teacher cannot provide his learner what he does not know. 

NRC are making a contribution towards improved access to quality and protective basic education for displacement affected children in DRC and Tanzania. According to UNESCO (2000), quality education is a tool which enables the learner to acquire knowledge, values, attitudes and skills needed to face challenges of the contemporary society and globalisation. Quality is also a process which considers the importance of training the teachers who are the implementers, there is a need for improving the training of the teachers who are working with people in crisis so that they will be equipped to cater for the needs of the displaced learners.

Having gone through the training and being aware of the importance of education in emergencies, there is a need to train teachers specifically by allocating time to deal with education in emergencies. The military have troops that are deployed for humanitarian purposes in case of an emergency (Cuny,1991); doctors also have teams that are sent to tackle emergencies,( Amat et l, 2016). Teaching as a profession should have a specialised curriculum or education in emergencies should be added to the teacher training course work so that trained teachers are sent to areas where there are crises, to set the bases and train local teachers that can teach education in emergencies.

The fact that education is one of the human rights, it is important to make sure that teachers in conflict areas can teach education in emergencies. Without the training of these teachers it will be difficult to cater for the need of the learners in crisis. In preparing for an emergency there should be an emergency team of teachers trained with specialization in education in emergencies.

 As a teacher by profession and having taught  all levels from primary up to university level, together with my experience as a refugee, I have gained  a lot of knowledge from this workshop that will enable me to meet the educational needs of people in crisis/emergencies.


Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 

Amat Camacho N, Hughes A, Burkle FM, Ingrassia PL, Ragazzoni L, Redmond A, Norton I, von Schreeb J. Education and Training of Emergency Medical Teams: Recommendations for a Global Operational Learning Framework. PLOS Currents Disasters. 2016 Oct 21 . Edition 1. doi: 10.1371/currents.dis.292033689209611ad5e4a7a3e61520d0.

Cuny F.C. (1991) Dilemmas of Military Involvement in Humanitarian Relief. In: Gordenker L., Weiss T.G. (eds) Soldiers, Peacekeepers and Disasters. Issues in Peacekeeping and Peacemaking. Palgrave Macmillan, London



Wia MaeWia-mae Koha Mmari is a PhD candidate at the Mwenge Catholic University in Kilimanjaro Tanzania. she completed her Master in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) from the Mwenge Catholic University in Kilimanjaro Tanzania, a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) obtained from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, degree in Business Administration and Management from the Daystar University in Nairobi Kenya. She has taught at different levels of education including that of Assistant Lecturer at the Stefano Moshi Memorial University College in Kilimanjaro Tanzania, where she assisted students with their research work. She is the founder and President of “The Righteous Work” a community Based organization in Boma Ng’ombe Tanzania. She presently serves as an Education consultant for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Kibondo Tanzania.


In 2018, NRC, and INEE engaged in a joint 4-year project called “Never too late to learn”, funded by the European Union, DG INTPA. This multi-dimensional project is being implemented in the Democratic Republic of  Congo (DRC) and Tanzania in order to contribute towards improved access to quality and protective basic education (pre-school, primary, and lower secondary) for displacement-affected children. 

The activities led by NRC and INEE in 2018-2019 focused on training education stakeholders in conflict sensitive education (CSE), and introduced education in emergencies and the INEE Minimum Standards. 

This blog series, presents insights on the trainings from the perspectives of EiE colleagues working as INEE focal points and facilitators in Tanzania and DRC. The series of five blog posts will present the following experiences:

  • from Tanzania, narrated by Wia-Mae Koha Mmari (INEE focal point in Tanzania);
  • from DRC, narrated by Edmond Shamba (INEE Focal Point in DRC); 
  • and from both Tanzania and DRC, narrated by Emeline Marchois (INEE, lead consultant based in France)

For more information on the project and on conflict sensitive education, please contact the lead consultant at

For materials on CSE, please consult the INEE website at


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