Save the Children uses the Framework for Learning for Children Affected by Emergencies in West Timor, Indonesia as:
1. A series of concepts for teachers to keep in mind when working with children
The framework focuses discussion during teacher workshops, with the aim of improving the relevance of education to the lives of IDP and refugee children. Teachers take this knowledge into the classroom by using the framework to help plan lessons and broaden concepts presented in the basic curriculum.
- The variety of topics covered in the framework suggests the need for alternatives in the way teachers manage groups of children and arrange and use resources. A set of indicators called 'Is this school good for children?' has been developed to help schools with this aspect of the framework.
2. A tool for advocacy with senior government education officials
The central government is in charge of curriculum quality, with provinces responsible for adaptation in relation to relevance. The framework is used as a starting point to encourage the state to support a flexible curriculum, partly through providing examples of the kind of information IDP and refugee children need to know in their day-to-day life.
- The framework is also used to promote school access and continuity of attendance for all children. Part of this effort includes encouraging schools to develop strategies and include activities that are specifically designed to reduce community conflict and tension.
3. A basis to develop resource materials to use in the classroom
A series of colour photographs taken locally is used to help teachers and students discuss survival skills. 40 A4-size photos were selected to portray the living situation of IDP and refugee children in barracks, sport stadiums and camps. Teachers develop questions for each photo and use the set to ask open questions around critical social issues. This contrasts the common teacher-child dynamic of rote response and right and wrong answers.
A cooperative games box supports children's individual development and is used to build skills for social participation. The box contains items used in local games, as well as balls, ropes, frisbees and nets. Boxes are distributed at a workshop that emphasises games that promote collaboration and participation, rather than competitive games that often exclude some children.
- The classroom activity box aims to strengthen children's academic skills as creative and exploratory learners, rather than passive recipients. Designed to relate to the basic curriculum, included are resources such as string for measuring, a counting grid, socks for puppets, alphabet and numeral cards, and white plastic to draw visual aids. An accompanying workshop promotes teaching designed around participatory learning and group work.
by Sandra Renew, National Education Advisor, SC UK Indonesia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org