407,000 Yemeni Students Benefit from School Rehabilitation with Better Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
YEMEN, November 28, 2022 – Following years of conflict in Yemen and widespread disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 407,000 young students have benefited from better learning conditions under a six-year, $18 million project funded by the U.S. Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented with UNICEF. The project has met the educational needs of an estimated 1.3 million conflict-affected children by providing teacher training, essential school equipment, teaching and learning material, and by rehabilitating water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities. USAID and UNICEF also reached over 16,000 adolescents with life-skills training to prevent and respond to challenges such as child marriage, child labour, and forced armed recruitment.
To ensure that children had safe spaces to learn, UNICEF rehabilitated facilities in 256 schools, and provided 271 indoor cleaning kits for staff use consisting of soap, brooms, buckets, mops, and disinfectant. This is particularly important for girls, as a lack of safe latrines is consistently cited by teachers and parents for why girls, particularly adolescent girls, are not able to attend school.
“Creating conditions where children who are eager to learn can return to clean, equipped schools is a high priority and a worthy investment to benefit Yemen,” said acting USAID Country Director Brandy Witthoft. “We are pleased that trained parents and community members are supporting teachers and administrators in taking tangible steps to plan for good school management that benefits everyone.”
To help pupils learn, the project provided 33,800 school desks, 947 whiteboards, and 175,000 student kits that included a backpack with notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, and colored pencils. These student kits are essential to help children access schools with the needed materials to learn, while reducing the economic hardships on families to provide these materials. With the ongoing economic collapse within Yemen, the economic costs of uniforms and school supplies is enough to keep thousands of children out of school.
To help teachers teach, the project team trained more than 1,700 primarily school teachers on child-centred teaching methodologies and active learning. In addition, 147 school supervisors learned how to produce basic teaching aids to help boost results in basic literacy and mathematics, including items to sort, add, subtract, or pictures and items to help act out or illustrate stories, or visualize letters and words, such as letter cards and flash cards. In addition, with USAID funding, UNICEF was able to develop a self-learning program to help out of school children in grades 1 to 8 to access the math, literacy, and science curriculum. This self-learning program was piloted with 6,000 children living in internally displaced camps who have not been able to access formal schools due to the conflict.
To strengthen community engagement, the project helped parents play a bigger role supporting the education their children need and deserve. The project team trained more than 3,000 Father-Mother Council and School Development Team members from 147 schools in school planning and management, girls’ education, and community mobilization for their greater involvement alongside teachers developing and implementing school improvement plans. To address key issues impacting school drop out, the project also shared information with over 900 members of parent councils from 35 schools in Aden and Amanat Al Asimah that helped parents understand the advantage of keeping adolescent girls and boys in school. Participants also discussed child protection risks, including child marriage, child recruitment and use by armed forces and groups, and child labor. Seeing youth as key actors, the project engaged more than 3,700 youth between the ages of 12 and 19 years in peer group sessions and 11,000 community leaders and members in discussions to identify solutions to child protection risks and to prevent abuses against children and adolescents, including child marriage and child recruitment into armed groups.
To learn more about USAID’s work in Yemen, visit www.usaid.gov/yemen
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