Underpinning all of this for me though, is the importance of Plan staff and how we care for them and the teachers who work in our programmes. One of the sessions looked at the role of a teacher – someone who supports the development of the child, who imparts knowledge, who guides children through their learning. To do this well in normal circumstances is a tough job (we all remember our teachers – either for the good job that they did or the tough time we had with them); but imagine how hard it is to be a teacher to a classroom of 100 children, who may have been displaced, who may be hungry, who may be targeted on the way to school, who may be traumatised, and who themselves are most likely underpaid, traumatised and fearful for the future. It is the toughest, but most important job there is.
The humanitarian community is finally recognising education in emergencies as a life-saving sector. We have a long way to go to reach our targets, and ensure that all children receive basic education at a minimum. We need to improve our influencing work in EiE, position ourselves as a credible actor, ensure quality programming, including our ability to report appropriately, and care for our people. We have a responsibility to protect our staff, ensure appropriate care for those working in crisis situations and provide psychosocial support for them as much as for our teachers. ‘Participating in the training was a key opportunity to know the very good work we already do and to identify what and how to step up our ambition to influence more and better humanitarian actors in their efforts to ensure children can access to quality education in the safest conditions possible. After these days, I feel confident we can count on the expertise, people and motivation to achieve our ambition to be a reliable and relevant actor on EiE’, reflected our colleague Julieta from the EU Office.
My colleague Victoria in Plan International Ireland (INO) recently gave us the tagline ‘Team work makes the dream work’. Together, as Plan International, we must all work together to improve our collective impact, and continue to learn and share so that we can ensure that more children can go to school and learn in a safe and inclusive environment.
INO gratefully acknowledges the support of Irish Aid in the organisation of the training.