Availability of last grades

On occasions, primary students can find themselves in areas where the full educational cycle is not offered, preventing them to continue their studies locally. In these scenarios, a number of strategies exist in order to guarantee the availability of a complete primary cycle. Some, such as the construction of new schools can be medium- to long-term tactics, requiring heavy financial investment. Some alternatives will be more appropriate as short term solutions, but are nevertheless preferable to students being left without a space to receive an education. It should still however always be ensured that schools meet regulatory standards, and that they are accessible, safe, hygienic, reasonably comfortable, and cognitively stimulating. 

Promising policy options

Building new schools

The construction of schools is the most straightforward way to make the full cycle available at a local level. The opening of specially-designed spaces to host students finishing Primary school greatly increases the chances of students obtaining their Secondary diploma.

As building new schools can be a costly and slow process, this can be described as a medium- to long-term strategy, unlike other more short-term tactics described below.

There are multiple reasons for having an insufficient supply of schools in a certain area. The following boxes deal with some of the most common root causes:

Difficulty to build new schools:

  • Due to economic constrains:
    • Not having enough budget. (For more on this subject, consult Policy page Insufficient budget.)
    • The unit cost of new schools is too high. (For more on this subject, consult Policy page High unit costs.)
  • Due to logistic constraints in the construction of schools: (For more on this subject, consult Policy page Logistic constraints in paying teachers.)

Geographic distribution of schools poses a problem: (Consult Policy page Geographic school distribution.)

There is a difficulty to recruit teachers for possible new schools:

References
Moulton, J. 2001. Improving education in rural areas: Guidance for rural development specialists. Washington D.C.: World Bank. Retrieved from: http://www.tanzaniagateway.org/docs/Improving_education_in_rural_areas_guidance_for_rural_development.pdf

The World Bank. 2009c. Guidance notes on safer school construction. Washington D.C: The World Bank. Retrieved from: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/728061468326978133/Guidance-notes-on-safer-school-construction-global-facility-for-disaster-reduction-and-recovery

Other policy options

One-room schools

One-room classrooms, with one teacher and one chalkboard, are commonly used in rural settings, with a small number of pupils and little infrastructure. This option is a cheap way of providing education in isolated areas with limited access to high-quality teaching centres. One-room classrooms, which tend to be multi-grade and multi-age, allow for an almost zero marginal cost by a student, since the facilities and teaching staff are fixed. Studies have shown that, on the aggregate, one-room classrooms provide the same quality education as single-grade classes. A downside of this methodology is, however, that over a certain number of students per classroom, the quality of education starts to decrease, since the attention of the single teacher has to be divided among more pupils.

Multiple programmes exist around the world, with different approaches and methodologies, in many cases adjusting the teaching and curriculum to the local circumstances. This is important since it implies the contextualization of the learning experience within the one-room classrooms. In general, this is a cheap and easy alternative to provide multi-grade, multi-age quality education, mostly present in remote, isolated rural environments, with a near-zero marginal cost per additional student. However, it is important to notice that over a certain number of students, the quality of education starts decreasing.

References
UNESCO. 2013d. Practical tips for teaching multigrade classes. Bangkok, UNECO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002201/220101e.pdf

Use of existing buildings for schools

Existing unoccupied buildings within communities can be utilized as learning spaces in lieu of new school construction. This strategy is most appropriate for sparsely populated rural areas in which one-roomed schooling would be required. This solution is not ideal, as the spaces may not be adapted to be optimal learning environments for students; however, it can be a short-term solution in the face of budget constraints. Generally, it is possible to use community spaces, youth centres, religious centres or homes, and it is generally more appropriate in sparsely populated, rural areas. However, this is only a short-term strategy.

References
The World Bank. 2009d. Six steps to Abolishing Primary School Fees: Operational guide. Washington D.C.: The World Bank. Retrieved from: https://www.globalpartnership.org/sites/default/files/2009-Six-Steps-to-Abolishing-Primary-School-Fees_processed.pdf

Small school model with multi-grade teaching

While there is a tendency for large school construction, a small school model with multi-grade teaching might be more appropriate for rural areas with low population density. This model can be less costly overall, and minimizes travel distance, which is another prominent barrier to schooling. A one-room school could effectively accommodate a village population of under 240 (see Annex 1). Multi-grade teaching may be considered controversial, but it has been found to be at least effective or even more effective for learning outcomes compared to single-grade teaching and schools can then be expanded if the population increases.

Annex 1

School size and minimum village population required

Source: Theunynck, S. 2009. School construction for universal primary education in Africa: Should communities be empowered to build their schools? Washington D.C.: The World Bank. Retrieved from: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/109291468007863249/pdf/488980PUB0prim101Official0Use0Only1.pdf

References
Theunynck, S. 2009. School Construction Strategies for Universal Primary Education in Africa. Should Communities be Empowered to Build their Schools? Washington D.C., The World Bank. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/109291468007863249/pdf/488980PUB0prim101Official0Use0Only1.pdf

Double-shift Schooling

Double-shift or multiple-shift schooling allows schools to hold multiple sessions during the day for different sets of students. This permits the use of existing school infrastructure, rather than creating new buildings or investing in expansion, allowing significant cost-savings. However, this shortened school day often means an overall lower quality of education and reduced student learning outcomes (for more on this subject, consult Policy page Double-shift schooling).

References
Bray, M. 2010.  Double-shift Schooling: Design and Operation for Cost-effectiveness. Paris, IIEP-UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0016/001636/163606e.pdf

Open and Distance Learning

Distance education or open and distance learning refers to education where the constraints of time and space are removed, and students can learn remotely using various information and communication technologies, rather than attending a school campus. Mobile electronic devices such as phones, media players, and tablet computers are becoming increasingly affordable and common throughout the world, and offer new possibilities in reaching populations that are unable to attend physical school campuses. While open and distance learning is primarily used for tertiary education, teacher training, and other programmes targeting adults, there are also opportunities for it to be applied to primary levels. Kenya recently launched a distance learning program using radio broadcasts, to reach nomadic populations. However, programmes may not be sufficiently developed yet to adequately replace in-person primary education models. Other challenges include safety and privacy issues, and education quality.

References
Swift, J. 2010. Getting to the Hardest-to-Reach: A Strategy to Provide Education to Nomadic Communities in Kenya Through Distance Learning. Nairobi, Ministry of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands. http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G02742.pdf

UNESCO. 2002. Open and Distance Learning: Trends, Policy and Strategy Considerations. Paris, UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001284/128463e.pdf

UNESCO. 2013. Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning. Paris: UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002196/219641E.pdf

Policy options for improving Equity and Inclusion

Gender-responsive policies

Not offering the full educational cycle locally –doubled by underlying gender factors–, can lead to pushing out certain children from the education system. The following policy recommendations should be taken into consideration.

Promising policy options

Construction of new schools

By constructing new schools, Ministries of Education and local authorities can impede the drop-out or even the push-out of children from the education system. Additionally, this long-term, cost-effective measure is known to dramatically increase attendance and retention rates for all children, particularly that of girls:

  • Studies reveal that decreasing the school distance (30 minutes walk maximum) decreases the likelihood of dropping out of school by 50 percent (UNICEF, 2015).
  • An analysis of 31 villages in north-western Afghanistan, where local schools were constructed, showed a significant improvement in girls’ enrolment rates (Burde and Linden, 2013). 
References
Burde, D.; Linden, L.L. 2013. ‘Bringing Education to Afghan Girls: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Village-Based Schools.’ In: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, vol. 5, (3), pp. 27–40. Retrieved from: http://www.leighlinden.com/Afghanistan_Girls_Ed.pdf

GPE (Global Partnership for Education), UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). 2017. Guidance for Developing Gender-Responsive Education Sector Plans. Washington D.C.: The Global Partnership for Education. Retrieved from: https://www.globalpartnership.org/content/guidance-developing-gender-responsive-education-sector-plans

UNICEF. 2015. The Investment Case for Education and Equity. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/reports/investment-case-education-and-equity

Other policy options

Small school model with multi-grade teaching

As expressed in the general section, implementing a small school model with multi-grade classrooms is an alternative policy strategy in order to ensure last-grades are taught at a local level. A relevant example is Colombia’s multi-grade community schools programme known as Escuela Nueva or ‘New School’: Implemented since 1975 by Colombian’s Ministry of Education, it reached students of different ages, grades and abilities by teaching them in the same classroom and by providing flexible schedules. Teachers were trained and supported to move away from rote teaching methods into active teaching and learning techniques. Solely implemented in rural communities at first, it was later on expanded to disadvantaged areas in cities. A study done in 1992 showed that due to this initiative, enrolment rates in rural areas increased from 50 to 80 percent, benefiting girls in particular (Benveniste and McEwan, 2000, Rugh and Bossert, 1998 cited by Sperling, Winthrop and Kwauk, 2016).

Along with the principles of inclusive education, multi-grade teaching promotes and welcomes diversity. Yet, it is essential to ensure that teachers are adequately trained and prepared so as to provide quality education for all (UNICEF, 2015).

References
Sperling, G.B; Winthrop, R.; Kwauk, C. 2016. What works in girl’s education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. Retrieved from: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/What-Works-in-Girls-Educationlowres.pdf

UNICEF. 2015. The Investment Case for Education and Equity. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/reports/investment-case-education-and-equity

Double-shift schooling

In contexts where cultural particularities do not allow girls and boys to attend the same school and there is a shortage of school facilities, double-shift schooling could be a solution. For example, Pakistan implemented double-shift schooling in rural areas in order to tackle down the shortage of schools for girls (UNICEF Regional Office of South Asia, 2014).

Flexible delivery modes, such as double-shift schooling, can tackle down children’s dropout. Although this policy option does raise up many questions, for many children, this might be the most realistic option in order to enjoy an educational opportunity. For instance, Bangladesh’s BRAC schools, which operate only 2.5 hours daily, have allowed drop-out figures to stay below 1 percent of enrolled students (Sperling, Winthrop and Kwauk, 2016).

References
Sperling, G.B; Winthrop, R.; Kwauk, C. 2016. What works in girl’s education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. Retrieved from: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/What-Works-in-Girls-Educationlowres.pdf

UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. 2014. All Children in School By 2015, Global Initiative On Out-Of-School Children: South Asia Regional Study Covering Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Kathmandu: UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. Retrieved from: http://www.indianet.nl/pdf/GlobalInitiativeOnOut-Of-SchoolChildren.pdf

Open and Distance Learning

Open and Distance Learning can be a solution when the last grades are not available locally. Through this solution, students who have been pushed out of the system can continue and finish their education. The following recommendations should be taken into consideration:

Mainstream gender throughout the Open and Distance Learning offer. New ODL programmes should be conceived through a gender perspective. Existent ODL programmes should be reviewed to increase gender equity in content, context, and terminology.

Open and Distance Learning and the use of Information and Communication Technology in Education can help advance gender equity and inclusion (Ó Siochru, Attwell and Nexus Research Cooperative, 2019). The project Mobile Literacy for Out of School Children, implemented in Thailand by UNESCO Bangkok, in partnership with Microsoft, has assisted 4,000 underprivileged children –particularly girls– in rural areas.

The Literacy Project for Young Girls and Women in Senegal (Le Projet d’Alphabétisation des Jeunes Filles et Femmes au Sénégal – PAJEF), implemented from 2011 to 2015, reached 40,000 girls and women.

The project Empowerment of Girls and Women through the Use of ICTs in Literacy and Skills Development implemented in Nigeria from 2013 to 2016 reached 60,000 girls and women in Rivers State and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). For a country-based example of how to mainstream gender throughout ODL consult Botswana, 2008.

References
Botswana. 2008. Directorate of Social and Human Development & Special Programmes. Gender Mainstreaming Strategy for Open and Distance Learning 2008-2012. Gaborone: Directorate of Social and Human Development & Special Programmes. Retrieved from: https://www.sadc.int/files/2613/7820/8537/THE_GMS_DOCUMENT___for_ODL_final_version_2008-2012.pdf

Ó Siochru, S.; Attwell, G.; Nexus Research Cooperative. 2019. Evaluation of UNESCO’s Work in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Education. Paris: UNESCO Internal Oversight Service – Evaluation Office. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000370520?posInSet=27&queryId=805377e6-5001-408e-a7ca-246d581f8ba0

Policies for children with disabilities

Promising policy options

Building inclusive mainstream settings

In order for all previously recommended policy options from the general section of this Policy page to apply, it is necessary to ensure that children with disabilities access mainstream settings.

Building inclusive mainstream settings is a cost-effective strategy, compared to maintaining a segregated system (UNICEF, 2014). By building inclusive mainstream settings, Ministries of Education could ensure that all children –including children with disabilities– are provided a full educational cycle locally.

*For specific details on how to build inclusive mainstream settings consult Policy page Geographic school distribution.

References
Ainscow, M. 2019. The UNESCO Salamanca Statement 25 years on Developing inclusive and equitable education systems. Discussion paper prepared for the International Forum on inclusion and equity in education – every learner matters, Cali, Colombia, 11-13 September 2019. Retrieved from: https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/2019-forum-inclusion-discussion-paper-en.pdf

Cheshire, L. 2019. Inclusive education for persons with disabilities – Are we making progress? Background paper prepared for the International Forum on inclusion and equity in Education – Every learner matters, Cali, Colombia, 11-13 September 2019. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000370386?posInSet=11&queryId=8251b10e-fda6-4bf5-a11e-a077d7076fa4

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2014. Financing of Inclusive Education: Webinar 8 – Companion Technical Booklet. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: http://www.inclusive-education.org/sites/default/files/uploads/booklets/IE_Webinar_Booklet_8.pdf

Other policy options

Small school model with multi-grade teaching

Multi-grade teaching is a cost-effective measure to enhance inclusive quality education (UNESCO, 2009c). Along with the principles of inclusive education, multi-grade teaching promotes and welcomes diversity within the classroom and encourages the use of inclusive pedagogy (Howgego, Miles and Myers, 2014). Within multi-grade classrooms, peer-to-peer collaboration is enhanced (Makoelle and Malindi, 2014). Nevertheless, it is essential to ensure that teachers are adequately trained and prepared so as to provide quality education for all (UNICEF, 2015). Particularly, teachers should be supported with practical tools and methods in order to understand and mobilise children’s varying abilities (for specific recommendations consult Policy pages: Content knowledge, Classroom practices, and Teaching skills).

References
Howgego, C.; Miles, S.; Myers, J. 2014. Inclusive Learning: Children with disabilities and difficulties in learning. Oxford: HEART (Health & Education Advice & Resource Team). Retrieved from: http://www.heart-resources.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Inclusive-Learning-Topic-Guide.pdf?9d29f8=

Makoelle, T.M; Malindi, M.C. 2014. ‘Multi-Grade Teaching and Inclusion: Selected Cases in the Free State Province of South Africa’. In: International Journal of Educational Sciences, Vol. 7, pp. 77-86.

UNESCO. 2009c. Policy guidelines on inclusion in education. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0017/001778/177849e.pdf

UNICEF. 2015. The Investment Case for Education and Equity. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/reports/investment-case-education-and-equity

Double-shift schooling

In case the lack of school infrastructure leads to the unavailability of the full educational cycle locally, educational planners should study the possibility of implementing double-shift schooling (UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, 2014).

Since multiple studies show contradictory and insufficient findings concerning learning achievements of children in double-shift schools, Ministries of Education should track the progress of children with disabilities enrolled in this type of school and make necessary accommodations accordingly (PASEC CONFEMEN, 2015). For instance, a possible solution to compensate for the reduced instruction time could be to increase the number of school days per year. This measure could lead to learning advantages for children with certain disabilities for whom long breaks widen their learning achievement gap (Sellors, 2017; Zachry, n.d.).

References
PASEC CONFEMEN (Programme d’Analyse des Systèmes Éducatifs de la Conférence des ministres de l’Éducation des États et gouvernements de la Francophonie). 2015. PASEC 2014 Education System Performance In Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa: Competencies and Learning Factors in Primary Education. Dakar: PASEC CONFEMEN. Retrieved from: https://www.pasec.confemen.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Rapport_Pasec2014_GB_webv2.pdf

Sellors, A. 2017. How Do Year-Round School Calendars Affect Students With a Learning Disability? Accessed 19 July 2019: https://classroom.synonym.com/yearround-school-calendars-affect-students-learning-disability-16738.html

UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. 2014. All Children in School By 2015, Global Initiative On Out-Of-School Children: South Asia Regional Study Covering Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Kathmandu: UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. Retrieved from: http://www.indianet.nl/pdf/GlobalInitiativeOnOut-Of-SchoolChildren.pdf

Zachry, A. n.d. ‘Potential Effects of Summer Break on Student with Disabilities’. In: Special Ed Information for Teachers & Parents, Bright Hub Education. Accessed 19 July 2019: https://www.brighthubeducation.com/parents-and-special-ed/75880-effect-of-summer-break-on-students-with-disabilities/

Open and Distance Learning

Open and Distance Learning (ODL) is recognized as ‘one of the most sustainable methods for overcoming the educational barriers faced by persons with disabilities’ (UNESCO, 2016: 7). One of the many barriers is the geographical distance from educational centers, for instance, when the full cycle is not available locally.

Ministries of Education and all relevant stakeholders must ensure that ODLs are inclusive, so that all children, including children with disabilities, can easily access them and thus benefit from the same educational opportunities.

UNESCO’s Guidelines on the Inclusion of Learners with Disabilities in Open and Distance Learning (2016) gives a set of specific recommendations to each stakeholder. They include the following, among others (please consult UNESCO, 2016, for specific details):

Ministries of Education should:

  • ensure an adequate legal and policy framework for the development of inclusive ODL;
  • provide sufficient funding;
  • enhance cooperation and partnership among multiple stakeholders (include Disability People’s Organisations in the process to find pertinent solutions to accessible and inclusive ODL);
  • promote research on the area to improve ODL’s accessibility; and
  • provide Assistive Technologies to children with disabilities and ensure inclusive Information and Communication Technology ICT.

Educational Institutions delivering ODL should:

  • encourage and support the enrolment of persons with disabilities in ODLs;
  • guarantee that the content is inclusive and thus meets the needs of all students;
  • ‘ensure that assistive technology is able to remove barriers to learning, including, but not limited to, cognitive, physical and sensory barriers’, implement the principles of Universal Design for Learning for this purpose (UNESCO, 2016: 17); and
  • provide support services to all participants.

Instructors should:

  • recognize and meet the individual needs of all the students;
  • promote inclusive pedagogies;
  • monitor regularly the content to ensure that it is inclusive and accessible; and
  • continuously participate in professional development as well as knowledge exchange between peers.
References
UNESCO. 2016. Learning for All: Guidelines on the Inclusion of Learners with Disabilities in Open and Distance Learning. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000244355

Policies for displaced populations and host communities

All policies mentioned in the general section apply to this category.

Other policy options

Investing resources in capacity building for community development and involvement

National and International agencies should have staff prepared with specific responsibilities for motivating the establishment of training and guiding school or community education management committees. The responsibilities could include the following:

  • mobilising the contribution of volunteer labour for the construction, maintenance and repair of classrooms, toilets and other facilities; and for school security;
  • mobilising supplementary materials and volunteer resources for school activities;
  • promoting the enrolment and retention of children in primary school from the beginning till the end;
  • organising voluntary systems of mentoring and after-school child to child tutoring for students (especially at-risk students);
  • regular collaborating with the head-teacher and senior school staff to prepare and update the school development plan; and
  • organising home-visits by teachers and community volunteers to promote enrolment in school and prevent drop-out.

It is important to involve educated refugees as teachers. This has the advantages of economic independence, (or less dependency), restoration of self-esteem for the individual and the group, familiarity for the students and the teacher and a sense of community. (UNHCR 2003)

References
UNESCO. 2013d. Practical tips for teaching multigrade classes. Bangkok, UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002201/220101e.pdf

UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees). 2003. Education: Field guidelines. Retrieved from: https://www.unhcr.org/40586bd34.pdf

Save the Children. 2016. Inclusive Education: What, Why and How. A handbook for Program Implementers. Retrieved from: http://www.eenet.org.uk/resources/docs/SC_2016_inclusive_education_handbook_lowres.pdf

Small school model with multi-grade teaching

Multi-grade teaching consists of different types of teaching approaches, curriculum, class structure and different levels of learning skills. Teachers should be well prepared to plan systematically and implement according to the classroom conditions.

Students in different grades have different levels of learning experiences and these different types of skills come under the control of a single teacher in a multi-grade classroom. Therefore, it is very important to remember that these ideas and practices are relevant in all classrooms and not just with multi-grade groups. Hence, teaching should be student-centered, and the teacher should be making every effort to accommodate the learning needs of each student in the class through in-depth knowledge of child development and learning.

For an inclusive curriculum and its delivery within a multi-grade schooling set-up, it is important to incorporate the following:

  • develop a flexible timetable for all the grades;
  • choose a theme that is suitable for all the grade levels within the multi-grade classroom;
  • develop daily lessons guided by references to the curriculum;
  • select curriculum linked activities to be done within the class;
  • create worksheets for both group and individual practice;
  • incorporate students’ real-life experiences with concepts in the curriculum;
  • assess the students to determine students’ level of mastery of a content; and
  • foster the students’ abilities through extra-curricular activities like music, visual and performing arts, games and physical or movement education.

Within the multi-grade classroom, the method of timetabling that is most effective is called block timetabling. One must use appropriate planning as well as develop teaching and learning strategies particularly for the classrooms in which teaching will be done.

Proper planning makes the multi-grade teaching easy and successful therefore flexible designing of the time table is crucial in preparation for the content related teaching-learning materials. By tabulating the common competencies in the multi-grade teaching, lessons/contents can be prepared.

Some factors to consider when developing a Multi-grade Time Table include:

  • The contact time available. Ensure that the timetable is planned so that the teacher is able to give the maximum amount of attention to the different groups in classrooms and are able to teach all the necessary subjects.
  • Time allocating for subjects. For instance, it is important to structure the time table in a way that Language and Mathematics based activities are done in the morning when the students are renewed and their concentration level is better.
  • Grouping. Some subjects may be taught to the whole class; others may be taught in groups and your timetable should take account of this.
  • Considering the maturity and attention span of the students. Younger students will need to change their activities frequently, so their lessons should be shorter. There should be more physical activity too, both inside and outside the classroom.

*For specific recommendations consult Policy Policy pages: Content knowledge, Classroom practices, and Teaching skills.

References
Mulkeen, A.G. Higgins C.  2009. Multi-grade Teaching in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from Uganda, Senegal, and the Gambia. World Bank Publications. Retrieved from: http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/821571468175485257/pdf/518300PUB0REPL101Official0Use0Only1.pdf

 

Little, A.W. 2001. Multi-grade teaching: towards an international research and policy agenda. Int J Educ Dev. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0738059301000116 .

Giannakos, M.N, Vlamos P. 2012. Using educational webcasts in small multi-grade schools of isolated islands. Int J Educ Dev Using Inf Commun Technol. Retrieved from: http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/viewarticle.php?id=1376

Mathot, G. 2001. A handbook for teachers of multi-grade classes. UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000125919

Little, A.W. 2004. Access and achievement in Commonwealth countries: support for learning and teaching in multigrade classrooms. Commonwealth Education Partnerships. Retrieved from: http://angelawlittle.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/AccessandAchievementCommonwealthCountriesMultigrade2003.pdf

Childcare. 2015. Using Learning Centers. Accessed 14 May 2021: http://articles.extension.org/pages/70567/using-learning-centers-in-child-care

Makoelle, T.M; Malindi, M.C. 2014. ‘Multi-Grade Teaching and Inclusion: Selected Cases in the Free State Province of South Africa’. In: International Journal of Educational Sciences, Vol. 7, pp. 77-86.

UNESCO. 2009c. Policy guidelines on inclusion in education. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0017/001778/177849e.pdf

UNICEF. 2015. The Investment Case for Education and Equity. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/reports/investment-case-education-and-equity

Policies for minority populations

All policies recommended in the general section apply to this category.

Other policy options

Reallocating funds for hiring more teachers and building more schools

Minority populations such as the ethnic minorities or the indigenous populations tend to live in remote localities, which don’t have proper schooling or infrastructure. In situations such as this, it is important for the government to provide resources to either make schools available or transportation to get to the nearest schools.

The construction of schools is the most straightforward way to make the full cycle available at a local level. The opening of specially designed spaces to host students finishing Primary school greatly increases the chances of students obtaining their Secondary diploma.

As building new schools can be a costly and slow process, this can be described as a medium- to long-term strategy, unlike other more short-term tactics described below.

Difficulty to build new schools:

  • Due to economic constrains:
    • Not having enough budget. (For more on this subject, consult Policy page Insufficient budget.)
    • The unit cost of for improving infrastructure is too high. (For more on this subject, consult Policy page High unit costs.)
  • Due to logistic constraints in the construction of schools. (For more on this subject, consult Policy page Logistic constraints in school construction).

Geographic distribution of schools poses a problem: (Consult Policy page Geographic school distribution.)

There is a difficulty to recruit teachers for possible new schools:

  • Due to an unsustainable salary level for teachers. For more on this subject, consult Policy page Teacher benefits.

In order to generate funds to construct new schools, governments can foster partnerships. The different kinds of partnerships and guidelines for effective financing are listed in the Abidjan Principles.

References
Moulton, J. 2001. Improving education in rural areas: Guidance for rural development specialists. Washington D.C.: World Bank. Retrieved from: http://www.tanzaniagateway.org/docs/Improving_education_in_rural_areas_guidance_for_rural_development.pdf

UNESCO. 2015a. Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and challenges. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002322/232205e.pdf

UNESCO. 2017a. A guide for ensuring inclusion and equity in education. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002482/248254e.pdf

The World Bank. 2009c. Guidance notes on safer school construction. Washington D.C: The World Bank. Retrieved from: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/728061468326978133/Guidance-notes-on-safer-school-construction-global-facility-for-disaster-reduction-and-recovery

The Abidjan Principles. 2019. The Abidjan Principles on the human rights obligations of States to provide public education and to regulate private involvement in education. Adopted on 13 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.abidjanprinciples.org/en/principles/overview

Providing transport

Minority communities such as the indigenous population or ethnic minorities, living in remote areas, with a considerable distance from schools can be provided with transport, either through grants and transport vouchers, or transport provisioned by the schools themselves, as described below.

School bus routes, or some other method of transportation, can be implemented as public policy as a way of diminishing the time pupils have to spend getting to school. This policy, which is usually applied in urban areas more than rural ones, is naturally dependent on the level of dispersion of the pupils, on the budgetary constraints of the government (and the families, if the burden is to be shared with the users) and on the local rural transportation infrastructure. Cost-effective implementation of this policy requires also an adequate mapping of potential users, in order to impact as many families as possible without depleting rapidly the allocated budget.

References
Cook, J. R.; Huizenga, C.; Petts, R.;Sampsons, L. R.,;Visser, C.; Yiu, A. 2017. Rural transport research in support of sustainable development goals. Bangkok: Transport and Communications Bulletin for Asia and the Pacific. Retrieved from: https://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/bulletin87_7%20Rural%20transport_JRCook.pdf

Starkey, P.; Hine, J. 2014. Poverty and sustainable transport: How transport affects poor people with policy implications for poverty reduction. UN Habitat, Overseas Development Institute, SLoCaT. Retrieved from: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/1767Poverty%20and%20sustainable%20transport.pdf

Vasconcellos, E. 1997. ‘Rural transport and access to education in developing countries: policy issues.’ In: Journal of Transport Geography. Vol. 5 (2),  127-136. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Eduardo_Vasconcellos2/publication/222363323_Rural_transport_and_access_to_education_in_developing_countries_Policy_issues/links/5859111508ae64cb3d490f06/Rural-transport-and-access-to-education-in-developing-countries-Policy-issues.pdf

UNESCO. 2015a. Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and challenges. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002322/232205e.pdf

UNESCO. 2017a. A guide for ensuring inclusion and equity in education. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002482/248254e.pdf

Updated on 2021-06-16

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