Education & Skills
In Iraq, we aim to support improved access to quality education and psychosocial services for conflict and displacement-affected children. At the same time, PIN strengthens public education services, supports the role of parents in their children's learning process, and builds awareness on critical issues such as climate change, gender equality, and social inclusion.
We also provide schools with:
- new teaching materials
- teaching supplies for teachers and students
- air-conditioning and heating
In Syria PIN provides educational support in schools and temporary learning centers as well as psychosocial support to help conflict-affected children and their families.
We help to build their resilience, including in child-friendly spaces in camps for displaced people. This support helps children cope with the traumas of living through war and often displacement, and provides them safe space to not only learn but to simply play and express themselves that is important for their development.
Education and Psychosocial Support
2.4 million children in Syria -over one third of Syria’s child population- are currently not in school. The challenges are enormous: a staggering 40% of school infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed by now. The UN is able to confirm nearly 700 attacks on education facilities and personnel in Syria since the verification of grave violations against children began. In 2020 alone, 52 attacks were confirmed.
People in Need has been providing educational support in Syria since 2013. Working in partnership with schools, we provide a holistic support package that includes funds to rehabilitate damaged buildings, specialized training for educational staff, teacher kits, fuel for heating, water, and monthly staff incentives. We also provide schoolbags and stationary for students, and furniture such as desks, tables and whiteboards. We currently reach 27,372 pupils between the ages of 5 and 17 to access safe quality learning opportunities.
PIN also provides basic psychosocial support (PSS) for children by organising various creative workshops and games led by trained staff. The time spent with children as part of these extracurricular activities helps them cope with the traumatic events that have occurred their lives. For children living in temporary camps without any way to access formal education, PIN opened temporary learning centres. We also run remedial classes and compensatory courses to help children catch up on years of lost education, and we hold open days with the aim of attracting more children into schools.
In addition, parents of children not attending school have the opportunity to earn an income through PIN’s “Cash for Work” programme. This improves household budgets so that parents can afford to send their children to school and, most importantly, ensure children are not compelled to work.
PIN supports child-friendly spaces, that function as a safe, fun and inclusive space for children to learn, play, socialise, and develop. These centres are established in internally displaced camps, and provide basic psychosocial support to improve the well-being of children by organising various PSS activities as well as structured recreational activities focusing on creativity, mobility and theatre led by educated and trained staff. These activities are prepared by assistants in close collaboration with the facilitators themselves, which teach children how to develop trust, build self-confidence, deal with emotions and situations, develop interpersonal skills, create awareness on topics present in their households/families and daily lives. Furthermore, the child-friendly spaces function as a platform with easy access for sectors and activities (WASH, health, nutrition) and for trained staff to identify children with protection concerns to be referred for specialized assistance if needed.
After COVID-19 global pandemic was declared in March 2020, PIN timely worked with teachers and facilitators in northern Syria to develop a distant learning methodology that ensured continued education while the schools and learning centres were closed.
Read a story od 12 years old Aya.
School rehabilitation and psychosocial support
Our education projects strive to increase children’s school attendance by reconstructing or rehabilitating school buildings and their sanitary facilities, initiating back-to-school campaigns, and distributing school equipment, supplies, and teaching aids and materials. At the same time, we train teachers to improve their pedagogical skills and thereby increase the quality of teaching. We also organise special non-formal education activities including remedial classes for children who dropped out of school for prolonged periods, and help establish parent-teacher associations to encourage their involvement in school structures. Equally, we train teachers and education personnel to identify and treat children with post-traumatic disorders caused by the military conflict as such children require a special and sensitive approach to work towards healthy emotional and intellectual development. As a result, we successfully reached over 50,000 boys and girls in ensuring their access to quality learning and psychosocial assistance only in 2019. This year, we finalized the construction of two new schools and equipped them, as well as rehabilitated eight other schools with solar panels to ensure a more sustainable learning environment.
Provision of integrated services in support of vulnerable secondary displaced and returnees in Federal Iraq
Increasing equal education opportunities to children in Hawija
Improving Access to Education for Vulnerable Children Returning to Conflict-Affected Areas of Iraq
Nineveh Return Programme
With our wider programming working to emphasise sustainability and mitigating the effects of climate change, under this programme PIN and Malteser International installed 12 solar panel systems on top of schools in the target location. We provided basic technical and environmental awareness training to school staff.
Training and Support of Civil Society
In the spring of 2012, in cooperation with Iraqi filmmakers and activists, the first year of the human rights films festival Baghdad Eye was held, aimed at activating civil society and raising awareness in the government, journalists, students and school teachers of fundamental human rights. The festival was supported by the Czech human rights documentary film festival, One World, and so it borrowed the format of after-screening panel discussions and debates, intended to motivate the Iraqi people to formulate and present their own opinions and towards concrete activities contributing towards change. The main festival was held in Baghdad, with regional “echoes” in locations such as Basra and Fallujah.
People in Need in Iraq also implements its domestic programme One World at Schools, where films and participative approaches are used during lesson time. PIN has trained teachers and young volunteers who give lessons using tuition film sets, helping young people form opinions and organise leisure time voluntary student groups. They then try to change any problematic areas or the environment of schools with the help of local organisations supported by People in Need’s small grants.