In the course of UNICEF’s work with countries over the past decade, Child-Friendly School (CFS) models have emerged as a “package solution” and a holistic instrument for pulling together a comprehensive range of quality interventions in education. As such CFS models are now the major means through which UNICEF advocates for and promotes quality in education.
Based on promising success with the CFS model in over sixty countries, UNICEF now seeks to mainstream Child-Friendly Schools or similar models throughout the education systems in all 154 countries in which it operates. CFS models offer a comprehensive approach that is highly effective and efficient for improving quality of education. UNICEF advocates for this approach in preference to the current tendencies of investing sequentially in single factors like teacher training or textbooks provision as determinants of quality.
Successful uptake and implementation of such models by countries requires understanding and skills that need to be cultivated. UNICEF Education Section in New York has therefore prepared a Global Capacity Development Programme on Child-Friendly Schools, which will support countries in designing and implementing these models as may be most appropriate for their circumstances.
It will also enable countries to incorporate CFS standards into their plans and priorities for education, so that the cost of achieving quality basic education for all through this approach can be realistically estimated with adequate attention to national standards. Through this capacity development programme UNICEF hopes to address the current problem of fragmented information on CFS by identifying key principles, outlining common practices, as well as highlighting effective approaches, compiling lessons learned and documenting successful practices.
The Global Capacity Development Programme on CFS includes such resources as: