Standard 1: Equal Access

All individuals have access to quality and relevant education opportunities.

Key Actions

No individual or social group is denied access to education and learning opportunities because of discrimination

See Guidance Notes:

Learning structures and sites are accessible to all

See Guidance Notes:

Barriers to enrolment, such as lack of documents or other requirements, are removed

See Guidance Notes:

A range of flexible, formal and non-formal education opportunities is progressively provided to the affected population to fulfil their education needs

See Guidance Notes:

Through sensitisation and training, local communities become increasingly involved in ensuring the rights of all children, youth and adults to quality and relevant education

See Guidance Notes:

Sufficient resources are available and ensure continuity, equity and quality of education activities

See Guidance Notes:

Learners have the opportunity to enter or re-enter the formal education system as soon as possible after the disruption caused by the emergency

See Guidance Notes:

The education programme in refugee contexts is recognised by the relevant local education authorities and the country of origin.

Education services for disaster-affected populations do not negatively impact host populations.

Guidance Notes
1
Discrimination

Discrimination includes obstacles imposed because of sex, age, disability, HIV status, nationality, race, ethnicity, tribe, clan, caste, religion, language, culture, political affiliation, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, geographic location or specific education needs. Discrimination may be intentional. It may also be the unintentional result of infrastructure that is inaccessible to people with disabilities, or of policies and practices that do not support learners’ participation. Examples of discrimination include barring pregnant girls or learners affected by HIV from school and costs for school fees, uniforms, books and supplies.

Particular groups or individuals may have difficulty accessing education in an emergency situation. Some may become more vulnerable as a result of emergencies and displacement. These groups may include:

  • physically and mentally disabled people;
  • those who su er from severe mental health and psychosocial difficulties;
  • girls;
  • youth;
  • children associated with armed forces and armed groups;
  • adolescent heads of household;
  • teenage mothers;
  • persons from particular ethnic or other social groups.

National authorities, communities and humanitarian organisations have the responsibility to ensure that all people have access to educational activities. This means assessing the needs and priorities of excluded groups and those with different learning needs in the specific context, and addressing them. Discriminatory policies and practices that limit access to learning opportunities should be identified and remedied. The lack of access to education for particular ethnic, linguistic, geographic or age groups can create or maintain tensions that may contribute to conflict.

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) clarifies the right to education:

  • Article 2 recognises ‘the right to education without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status’;
  • Article 13 recognises the right of everyone to education that ‘shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace’. Article 13 also commits countries to recognise that, with a view to achieving the full realisation of this right: ‘1) primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all; 2) secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education; 3) fundamental education shall be encouraged or intensified as far as possible for those persons who have not received or completed the whole period of their primary education’.
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2
Admission, enrolment and retention

Documentation requirements should be flexible. Certificates of citizenship, birth or age, identity papers or school reports should not be required for entry because emergency-affected populations may not have these documents.

Age limits should not be strictly enforced, provided that protection concerns and cultural norms are respected. Second-chance enrolment for drop-outs should be permitted. Special efforts are needed to identify the most vulnerable individuals and how to include them. Where there are security concerns, documentation and enrolment information should be kept confidential.

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3
Range of education opportunities

A range of quality education opportunities is necessary. The aims are to ensure that the educational needs of all learners are met and to contribute to the economic, social and political development of the country. These opportunities should be relevant to the learners and to the context and may include:

  • early childhood development;
  • primary, secondary and higher education;
  • literacy and numeracy classes;
  • life skills education;
  • youth and adult education programmes, such as technical and vocational education.

In acute crises, child-friendly spaces or safe spaces are often the first response while formal education is being established or reactivated. Child-friendly spaces aim to protect and promote the well-being of children and youth. Some prepare children and youth to re-enter the formal classroom, while others allow them to participate in non-formal learning activities. They provide different age groups, ranging from young children to youth, with access to structured learning, play, sports, drama, art, music, protection and psychosocial support. Child-friendly spaces can allow community members and humanitarian and government workers to assess needs and capacities for formal and non-formal education, including how to integrate and support local initiatives.

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4
Flexibility

Learning opportunities need to be flexible and adapted to the context. Adaptations may include:

  • changes to class schedules, hours, shifts and annual timetables to meet the needs of particular groups of learners;
  • alternative modes of delivery, such as self-study, distance learning and accelerated or ‘catch-up’ learning programmes;
  • provision of child-care services for young parents;
  • waiving documentation requirements, such as birth or age certificates

Adaptations should be discussed with community members, including youth, women and others who might otherwise be excluded. Relevant education authorities should be involved to ensure that proposed adaptations are recognised. If learners are spread over a large area, schools and other learning sites can be mapped to plan for their most cost-effective access to a range of education opportunities.

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5
Immediate education priorities

Immediate education priorities should be based on initial assessment. It is important to consider:

  • data disaggregated by sex and age;
  • vulnerability and protection concerns;
  • particular content needs such as life-saving information;
  • linkages with the re-establishment of the education system.

Prioritisation may also consider funding, logistical and security constraints, but should not lead to the exclusion of vulnerable groups.

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6
Quality and relevant education

Education is a affordable, accessible, gender-sensitive, responds to diversity and is relevant to learners' needs.

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7
Community involvement

Communities should be actively engaged in education processes in order to facilitate access to education. Community involvement helps to:

  • address communication gaps;
  • mobilise additional resources;
  • address security, protection and psychosocial concerns;
  • identify needs for alternative learning opportunities;
  • promote participation of all relevant groups, particularly those who are vulnerable.
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8
Resources

National authorities have ultimate responsibility to ensure that education is provided. This includes the coordination and provision of sufficient financial, material and human resources. If national authorities are unable to provide fully for education in an emergency through to recovery, additional support may be provided from other sources. Examples include the international community, UN agencies, international and local NGOs, local authorities, communities, faith-based organisations, civil society groups and other development partners. Donors should be flexible and should support a range of coordinated approaches to ensure continuity of education and learning initiatives.

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9
Minimising the use of educational facilities as temporary shelters

Educational facilities should only be used as shelters for displaced people when there are no other possibilities. Alternative locations for shelter in the event of an emergency or disaster should be identified during preparedness planning.

When educational facilities are used as temporary shelters, the negative impacts and potential protection risks must be minimised in collaboration with the shelter and protection sectors. Stakeholders should agree to a date for returning the educational facility to its original function. This minimises disruptions to learning and avoids families remaining in an educational facility long after an emergency has occurred.

If educational facilities are used as temporary shelters, it is important to protect school property, including books, libraries, furniture, school records and recreational equipment. The educational facilities should be returned in a usable state. Wherever possible, stakeholders should use the opportunity to improve the educational facilities. For example, sanitation facilities could be renovated and building structures could be reinforced.

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Resources

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Indicators

Untitled Spreadsheet
INEE Domain INEE Standard Indicator/Program Requirements Clarification Numerator Denominator Target Disaggregation Source of Indicator Source of Data Available Tool Crisis Phase
Access and Learning Environment Equal Access (A&L Std 1)

All individuals have access to quality and relevant education opportunities.
2.1 Net attendance rate Number of crisis-affected school-age children who attended school during the previous academic week Number of crisis-affected school-age children 100% Level of education
Gender
Ethnicity
Mother tongue
Wealth quintile
Disability
Displacement status
As relevant
OCHA Indicator Registry Government or cluster reporting, school or household-based surveys, M&E mechanisms, school records DHS All stages
2.2 Percentage of students who meet minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, and/or demonstrate adequate progress in academic, vocational, and/or social and emotional learning (SEL) skills What defines adequate progress in learning outcomes depends on many factors, such as emergency context, age group, and program aims. This indicator is one that will need to be contextualized according to identified factors. Number of students who meet minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, and/or demonstrate adequate progress in academic, vocational, and/or SEL skills Number of students 100% Level of education
Gender
Ethnicity
Mother tongue
Wealth quintile
Disability
Displacement status
As relevant
New Learning outcome measures INEE Measurement Library Once program implementation has begun
Protection & Well-being (A&L Std 2)

Learning environments are secure and safe, and promote the protection and the psychosocial well-being of learners, teachers, and other education personnel.
2.3 Percentage of targeted learning spaces featuring psychosocial support (PSS) activities for children that fulfil at least three out of the four following attributes: a) structured, b) goal-oriented, c) evidence-informed, d) targeted and tailored to different sub-groups of vulnerable children This indicator reflects the provision of holistic PSS services to children in need, as opposed to "shallow," unstructured activities that are unlikely to yield outcome-level results. The PSS intervention will have to feature at least three of the four following attributes: a) structured, b) goal-oriented, c) evidence-informed, d) targeted and tailored to different sub-groups of vulnerable children. Number of targeted learning spaces featuring PSS activities for children that fulfil at least three of the four following attributes: a) structured, b) goal-oriented, c) evidence-informed, d) targeted and tailored to different sub-groups of vulnerable children Number of targeted learning spaces 100% Could be disaggregated by a), b), c), and d)

Formal vs non-formal
New Program documentation, school policies, school observations. Figures provided can be based on surveys or estimates. Reference should be made to in-country standards for provision of PSS services, or, if the latter do not exist, refer to INEE standards and guidelines. Tool required All stages
2.4 Percentage of targeted learning spaces with disaster risk reduction (DRR) processes/measures in place Existence of up-to-date school-level contingency/emergency preparedness plans, or conduction of simulation drills for example Number of targeted learning spaces adopting and operationalizing DRR policies/practices Number of targeted learning spaces 100% Formal vs non-formal OCHA Indicator Registry Program documentation, school policies, school observations Tool required All stages
2.5 Percentage of children, teachers, and other staff who report feeling safe in school and on the way to/from school Number of children, teachers, and other staff who report feeling safe in school and on the way to/from school Number of children, teachers, and other staff in school 100% Children/teachers/other staff
Level of education
Gender
Ethnicity
Mother tongue
Wealth quintile
Disability
Displacement status
As relevant
New Survey of students and staff Tool required All stages
Facilities & Service (A&L Std 3)

Education facilities promote the safety and well-being of learners, teachers, and other education personnel and are linked to health, nutrition, psychosocial, and protection services.
2.6 Percentage of targeted learning spaces that meet EiE access, quality, and safety standards for infrastructure Number of targeted learning spaces meeting EiE access, quality, and safety standards for infrastructure Number of targeted learning spaces 100% Formal vs non-formal OCHA Indicator Registry Learning space inventories, program documentation, cluster reporting, EMIS Guidance notes on safer school construction All stages
2.7 Percentage of learning spaces with gender- and disability-sensitive WASH facilities Number of learning spaces with gender- and disability-sensitive WASH facilities Number of targeted learning spaces 100% Formal vs non-formal OCHA Indicator Registry Learning space inventories, program documentation, cluster reporting, EMIS UNRWA Education in Emergencies Indicator Bank, page 19 All stages
2.8 Percentage of targeted learning spaces that offer school meals Number of targeted learning spaces that offer school meals Number of targeted learning spaces 100% Formal vs non-formal New Program documentation No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages
2.9 Percentage of targeted learning spaces that offer referrals to specialized health, psychosocial, and protection services Number of targeted learning spaces that offer referrals to specialized health, psychosocial, and protection services Number of targeted learning spaces 100% Formal vs non-formal New Program documentation No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages