Humanitarian Response: Education
2020 was a challenging year for education in the NWSW regions. The socio-political crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of 2,671 schools, keeping 458,000 school children and 19,503 teachers at home. The last quarter of the year also witnessed an increase in attacks against education facilities. Between 1 October and 10 December 2020, 35 attacks against education facilities were recorded.
Data from November 2020 indicates that in the NW region only 730 of 3,127 primary schools, equivalent to 23 per cent, and 142 of 416 secondary schools, equivalent to 25 per cent, are operational. It further reveals that only 39 per cent of primary school teachers and 21 per cent of secondary school teachers report to work. Schools in urban centers in the NWSW regions have become overcrowded as very few schools are functional in rural and hard to reach areas.
Despite the numerous challenges, some schools have remained operational, and children were able to sit for the end of term exams before going on holidays in December. Education Cluster partners have continued to provide support in relation to school feeding, psychosocial support, and distance learning in non-formal centers targeting out-of-school children. 62,251 out-of-school children were reached through distance learning programmes. They have also carried out advocacy efforts with relevant stakeholders demanding an end to attacks on education facilities.