Standard 2: Protection and Well-being
Learning environments are secure and safe, and promote the protection and the psychosocial well-being of learners, teachers and other education personnel.
Safe learning environments are maintained through disaster risk reduction and management activities
See Guidance Notes:
A secure learning environment provides protection from threat, danger, injury or loss. A safe environment is free from physical or psychosocial harm.
National authorities have the duty to ensure security. This includes providing sufficient and good-quality policing and the deployment of troops where appropriate and necessary. If usual learning sites are insecure or not available, alternative safe and secure sites or modes of learning should be set up. Home schooling or distance learning may be options in such circumstances. In insecure situations, the community should advise on whether they wish learners to attend school. Security forces should never use educational facilities as temporary shelters.
Emotional, physical and social well-being depends on:
- security, safety and protection;
- happiness and warmth in the relations between education providers and learners, and among learners.
From the earliest age, children’s development and learning are supported by their interactions with caring people in safe, secure and nurturing environments. Activities to ensure learners’ well-being focus on enhancing sound development, positive social interactions and good health. They encourage learners’ participation in decisions that affect them. By participating in problem-solving, decision-making and risk reduction, children and youth can feel less helpless and can contribute to their own well-being.
If parents are unable to provide for their children’s well-being at home, others need to help. This may include referrals to appropriate services if available.
‘Protection’ means freedom from all forms of physical, emotional and social threat, abuse, exploitation and violence. Learners, teachers and other education personnel should be informed about and protected from dangers in and around the learning environment. Dangers include:
- sexual exploitation;
- natural and environmental hazards;
- arms, ammunition, landmines and unexploded ordnance;
- armed personnel, cross re locations and other military threats, including abduction and recruitment;
- political insecurity.
Risk assessments, including consultation with community members, learners, teachers and other education personnel, are important to understand protection needs and priorities. These assessments should take place regularly and should include analysis of relevant cultural and political factors.
When protection violations take place, they should be confidentially documented and reported, preferably with the assistance of people trained in human rights monitoring. Key information about the incident should be noted, including sex, age and whether the person was targeted on the basis of specific characteristics. Such information is important to identify patterns and may be needed to create effective interventions to address the problem. Responses to reported violations should also be documented, including referrals to health, protection and psychosocial service providers.
In environments where violence and other threats to the physical and psychosocial safety of learners, teachers and other education personnel are common, it is important to involve families and communities in promoting safety in the home and community. Activities may include:
- information campaigns for parents and elders to reinforce positive methods for bringing up children including positive discipline practices;
- outreach to police or other security forces to raise awareness of protection concerns in the community;
- working with communities and relevant authorities to address specific protection concerns, such as organising escorts for learners going to and from classes.
Gender-based violence particularly sexual violence, is a serious, life-threatening protection issue. It can affect men and boys, but gender-based violence most often targets women and girls. Education programmes should monitor and respond to issues of harassment and sexual exploitation. Parents, learners, teachers and other education personnel should agree on ways to reduce risks to children and youth on the way to and from and within the learning environment. These may include:
- developing and publicly posting clear rules against sexual harassment, exploitation, abuse and other forms of gender-based violence;
- including these rules in codes of conduct for teachers and other education personnel, who need to understand what behaviours are unacceptable;
- increasing the number of adult women in the learning environment to protect and reassure female learners. Where there is not a balance between male and female teachers, women from the community can volunteer as classroom assistants to promote a more protective environment for children.
When gender-based violence takes place, confidential and safe reporting, complaint and response systems are important. These can be facilitated by national authorities or by an independent organisation knowledgeable about gender-based violence. Appropriate health, psychosocial, protection and judicial support should be available to survivors of gender-based violence in a well-coordinated referral system.
The maximum distance between learners and their learning sites
should be de ned according to local and national standards. It is important to consider security, safety and accessibility concerns such as soldiers’ quarters, landmines and dense bush in the vicinity. Learners, parents and other community members should be consulted on the location of learning sites and potential dangers. Where distance to school is so far that it reduces access, subsidiary (or ‘satellite’ or ‘feeder’) classes at sites nearer to learners’ homes may be encouraged.
In order to ensure safe and secure access routes for all learners, teachers and education personnel, communities, including boys and girls of di erent age groups, should identify perceived threats and agree on measures to address them. For example, in areas where learners must walk to and from education facilities along poorly lit roads, safety can be improved by having adult escorts or by using reflectors or reflective tape on clothing and bags.
In some contexts, learners, teachers and education personnel are exposed to physical or psychosocial risks on their way to and from education facilities. Actions to reduce these risks include:
- enriching the curriculum to include safety messages, psychosocial support and education on human rights, conflict resolution, peace-building and humanitarian law;
- raising public awareness on the meaning and use of the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which prohibit attacks against civilians (including students and teachers) and education buildings in times of war;
- capacity building for government and military judicial systems, armed forces and armed groups in the basic principles of humanitarian law and its application to the protection of education;
- reinforcing buildings or perimeter walls and use of security guards (paid or community volunteers);
- on-site housing for teachers;
- relocation of learning sites and threatened students, teachers and other education personnel;
- setting up home- and community-based schools.
Depending on the context and security concerns, communities or community education committees may take responsibility for the protection of schools. For example, they can provide escorts or identify trusted community or religious leaders to teach in and support schools. In civil conflicts, community members may help promote negotiations with both sides of the conflict to develop codes of conduct that make schools and learning sites safe sanctuaries or ‘zones of peace’.
Attacks on schools and hospitals are one of the six grave violations prohibited under UN Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005). If attacks occur, they should be reported through the UN-led Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism.
Teachers and other education personnel should receive training on providing psychosocial support to learners through:
- structured learning;
- use of child-friendly methods;
- play and recreation;
- teaching life skills;
It is important to address the well-being of teachers and other education personnel. This will contribute to learners’ well-being and successful completion of formal or non-formal education programmes.
According to the Dakar Framework, education should be conducted ‘in ways that promote mutual understanding, peace and tolerance, and that help to prevent violence and conflict’. To meet this goal, teachers need support in positive classroom management. This means ensuring that a learning environment promotes mutual understanding, peace and tolerance and provides skills to prevent violence and conflict. Positive reinforcement and a solid system of positive discipline are the foundations for establishing such an environment. They should replace corporal punishment, verbal abuse, humiliation and intimidation. Intimidation includes mental stress, violence, abuse and discrimination. These points should be included in teacher codes of conduct and addressed systematically in teacher training and supervision activities.
Communities should take a leading role in creating, sustaining and protecting the learning environment. Representatives of all vulnerable groups should participate in programme design. This increases community ownership of support to education.
Learners, teachers and other education personnel can be trained to support disaster prevention and management activities. These may include:
- the development and utilisation of emergency preparedness plans;
- practice of simulation drills for expected and recurring disasters;
- school structural and non-structural safety measures, such as school evacuation plans in earthquake-prone areas.
Community or school safety committees may need support to develop and lead the implementation of school disaster management or safety plans. Support includes help with assessing and prioritising risks, implementing physical and environmental protection strategies and developing procedures and skills for response preparedness.
Emergency preparedness plans, including school evacuation plans, should be developed and shared in ways that are accessible to all, including people who are illiterate and persons with physical, cognitive and mental disabilities.
|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
|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
|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
|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|