Jun 26, 2009
UNICEF has developed a manual on Child-Friendly Schools, that addresses total needs of a child as a learner and aims to create an environment that offers quality education to every youngster. It also includes an e-learning package for capacity building.
Publisher: UNICEF, May 2009
Schooling is the one experience that most children worldwide have in common and the most common means by which societies prepare their young for the future. But schooling is not always a positive experience for children.
There are several conditions that thwart learning. They are made worse when learners are without competent teachers to guide them, textbooks to learn from or exercise books to write in, or if they have textbooks of inferior quality that reinforce damaging stereotypes.
Fulfilling the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) requires not just getting all children into school, but making sure that all schools work in the best interest of the children entrusted to them. This means providing safe and protective schools that are adequately staffed with trained teachers, equipped with adequate resources and graced with appropriate conditions for learning.
Various school models illustrate ways to improve the quality of education. However, it is the CFS models that have emerged as the most comprehensive in their approach and the most widespread, both in the number of countries in which they have been put into practice and the geographical distribution of those countries.
It is against this background that UNICEF embarked on the preparation of the CFS manual, a practical guide that aims to:
- Provide an introduction to the child-friendly concept and the key principles from which the main characteristics of a child-friendly school can be derived in different contexts and circumstances.
- The multiple ways in which CFS models consistently contribute to quality education in a wide range of national contexts.
- Provide practical guidance on the operation and management of child-friendly schools, elaborating on the role of school heads, teachers, non-teaching staff, pupils, parents, communities and local and national education authorities.
The purpose of a CFS model is to move schools and education systems progressively towards quality standards, addressing all elements that influence the wellbeing and rights of the child as a learner and the main beneficiary of teaching, while improving other school functions in the process.