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Science at the heart of teachers’ skills in Yemen


A teacher uses a microscope inside the science lab at the Teachers’ High Institute in Sana’a.

By Marie Bracquemont, Reports Officer for UNICEF Yemen

Sana’a, Yemen, 27 March 2019 - Sami Sharaf Salem is one of many everyday heroes working to improve children’s lives in Yemen. Sami teaches science in a rural part of Al Jawf governorate, one of the most remote areas of the country, where 2 million children are currently out of school.

The four-year long conflict continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of the children in Yemen. The situation of the education sector is particularly daunting: school infrastructure is badly damaged and learning materials are in short supply. Most of the public-school teachers have not been paid in more than two years, placing 3.7 million additional children at risk of missing out on their education. This poses a particular threat as when not in school, children are even more exposed to social and economic abuse.

Together with its partners, UNICEF pursues its education interventions to keep children in school and not only give them a chance to learn, but to also keep a sense of normalcy in the middle of the conflict.

One of the many UNICEF’s activities in the education sector is to boost the knowledge and the skills of teachers across the country so that children have access to the quality education they deserve. Last month, UNICEF and the local authorities organized a training at the Teachers’ High Institute of Sana’a for science teachers coming from rural areas of Al Jawf governorate. This was the first time any of the teachers had received any kind of training since 2012 and Sami was one of them.

“As teachers coming from rural areas, we rarely receive such a high-quality training, especially in the science field. This was the first training I ever received in the last five years and I am happy to see that we will soon receive equipment for our science labs. That is very important for our students to benefit from our training by using the same equipment we have trained on,” Sami said


Last month, 12 science teachers from Al Jawf governorate took part in a UNICEF-supported training in Sana’a to learn how to establish science labs in their schools and prepare learning materials.


With the support of the Global Partnership for Education, a manual for science teachers and school laboratories’ instructors has been developed and distributed to give teachers clear guidelines and help them to conduct high-quality science classes.


With the support of UNICEF and its partners, 230 science labs have been established in 13 governorates across Yemen.

Science teachers are benefiting from learning guidance and skills development with the support from the Project Management Unit of the national education authorities and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Through its programme, GPE has been helping UNICEF and the Government of Yemen to improve equity in access to basic education in an enriched learning environment since 2014. The education interventions target 420 schools in 13 governorates with lack of economic, infrastructure, relatively dispersed population centers, difficult terrain, and security challenges, as well as low enrolment of children, particularly girls.

So far, 2,300 female teachers have been contracted under the Partnership to be trained as primary education teachers in rural areas, more than 8,000 teachers have been trained on active learning, over 183 schools have been rehabilitated and 87,500 children received psychosocial support.

 

 
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