The State of the World's Children 2000

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Panel 6 - The education age, past due

Prepared to teach

For many teachers, the child-friendly approach can be a radical departure from traditional teaching methods. Nevertheless, there is a broad awareness that such change is needed to engage children as partners in their education and keep them coming to school.

James Hopkins, Director of Save the Children's programme in Thailand, says that the cultural norms of how adults and children interact in school need to be understood so that teachers can take child-friendly teaching fully to heart. "When we listen closely," explains Mr. Hopkins, "we hear the fears of teachers who ask: 'In the future, will we have to bow to children? Will children stop bowing down when they pass us? How will we maintain discipline if we can no longer spank children?'"    
Copyright© 1999 UNICEF/Iran
Schoolgirls in class in Iran.

Mobilizing community and parent support becomes critical, because with such support the child-friendly school truly becomes a place where children, teachers and parents work together, using a holistic approach to address the health, education, protection and participation needs of children as part of the full spectrum of child rights.

 
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