Capacity building & strengthening the educational process in Yemen during crises
UNICEF and partners are working to strengthen Yemen’s education system by implementing effective education programs that improve access to quality education, even during difficult times, and to build hope and peace for the future
Parents' councils are a key tool for community participation in education, since they can help in improving the educational process through shared decision-making, accountability, and addressing problems facing the sector. Stressing the importance of this activity, Attas Al-Aidarous, a trainer and director of the Pedagogical Inspection Department in Seyoun district says: “Parent Councils are key to ensure proper functioning of the educational system”. “Of course, parent councils are very important given that their mandate includes participation in developing and revitalizing the educational process, and motivating dropouts to return to school, while supporting school management to provide all that is required for the learning-teaching process”, the head of the Technical Council for Social Work Salem Damnan said.
Education in emergencies training seeks to strengthen the role of parent councils in Seyoun - as an essential element in the educational process – and to promote communication between schools and surrounding communities. The training is supported by the German Development Bank (KFW) and comes as part of UNICEF's efforts to implement robust education programs paving the way for peace and hope for the future, especially during difficult times. Some 60 heads and members of the Council of Parents, in addition to school principals, assistant principals and social workers attended the training.
Key points covered during the training include the role of parent councils in activating the school councils, their formation and organization, regulations, how to setup parent council committees, the role and importance of each committee, in addition to the administrative and financial aspects, and how to optimize benefits from the available resources and the local community. "The training provided us with highly valuable information, and corrected a wide array of misconceptions", says Munir Salah Al-Barqi, Principal of Khalifa Omar Bin Abdulaziz School, and Vice-Chairman of the Parents’ Council, adding: “The overlap used to exist between the role of heads of parent councils and school principals has been clarified, including who does what, to ensure complementarity for smooth educational process. All concepts pertaining to the work of parent councils and school business have been elucidated by the trainers.
“In this session, we learned a lot of skills, knowledge, and hands-on, including background idea about parent councils and their roles,”
“We also learned that Parent Councils have the power and play a role in decision-making process, and that they can influence the educational process”, she adds.
Mr. Attas Al-Aidarous points out that this year training involved the Mothers' Council as well, who actively participated in this process. In this regard, Samah Ba’adheem says: "despite being a new member in the Mothers' Council, yet this training equipped us with a lot of skills and improved our capacities to perform the job to the fullest in cooperation with the administrative body. It, meanwhile, helped clarifying the roles and functions for all members of the assembly, so that all parent councils play their intended roles in advancing education and overcoming roadblocks, difficulties and problems facing the educational process.
Many participants underscored the importance of this activity for improving their performance in supporting the educational process and building thriving learning communities. Ashwaq Al-Soum, a teacher at Khalifa Omar Bin Al-Khattab School, says: “Many members of mothers’ councils did not know what their exact jobs were. Al they had to do in the past was to attend meetings and that’s it. However, in this training they learned that they are decision makers, too, their roles to play, how to decide and solve problems, and to serve as a link between the school and the family.” Ashwaq adds: “This session is particularly important because - unlike the past trainings - most of the parent council members in the target schools were present. This activity provided them with the knowledge they need, which is expected to improve their performance in ensuing successful educational process, and thereby better educational attainment and outputs. UNICEF has provided a lot to the educational process, especially during this period, including several trainings on advancing the educational process. We are so grateful to them", she concluded.
Munir Al-Barqi, principal of Khalifa Omar Bin Abdulaziz School and vice-chairman of the school's parent council, praised the timing of the training course as being just before the start of a new school year, allowing council members to be better prepared for their work".