Five things you need to know this week about global education

News Roundup May 17 Eu Education
Providing funding for education in humanitarian emergencies has been a priority for the EU (ECHO)

Children in conflicts, Education funding, Education in emergencies, Safe schools, Safe Schools Declaration

Gang violence is keeping children out of school - but there has been a breakthrough moment for the funding of education in emergencies.

EU to spend 10% of humanitarian aid on education

In a landmark moment for education in emergencies, the European Union announced this week that 10% of its aid spending will go to education in 2019.

Only 2% of all humanitarian aid was being spent on education when Theirworld began campaigning in 2015 for the international community to step up their efforts and increase that to at least 4% to 6%.

Christos Stylianides, the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, has shown others the way with his leadership on the issue – consistently increasing the EU’s contribution to education. 

He said: “The European Union is leading by example. It is a global champion of education in emergencies. We are making a concrete investment to peace by helping every child get access to school, anywhere and at all times. “

Theirworld President Justin van Fleet said: “Throughout our campaigns, Christos Stylianides has pledged that the EU would exceed our call to action and devote 10% of its humanitarian budget to education. Now he has delivered on that promise and shown the way for others to do the same.”

Read the full story and a timeline of the EU’s support.

Gang fears force children out of school in Honduras and El Salvador

News Roundup May 17 Violence Honduras El Salvador 2

Children in Honduras, where the walk to school is often dangerous (Norwegian Refugee Council)

Gangs and violence in their neighbourhoods are pushing children out of school in Honduras and El Salvador, according to new research.

“Criminal violence is wreaking havoc on the lives of countless children,” warned Christian Visnes of the Norwegian Refugee Council which published the reports. “Bright futures are being stolen every time that children are too afraid to attend school and are forced to drop out. The future of an entire generation of boys and girls is at risk.” 

The reports titled A Generation Out of School revealed that almost half of children surveyed living in neighbourhoods where criminal gangs are present do not have access to education.

They found that children experience pressure, intimidation, sexual harassment and traumatic abuse by criminal groups. Their daily walk to school is dangerous and involves passing through gang territory or staying limited to one side of the community to not stray into rival gang territory.

Almost one in three children in Honduras and El Salvador drop out of school before completing secondary school. Their News reported this week on how US aid cuts could harm education and anti-violence projects in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Blasts cause 72% of war-zone children's deaths and injuries

News Roundup May 17 Mexican School 2

Noran from Yemen was injured by the blast wave from an explosion (Save the Children)

Explosions – including landmines, air strikes and suicide bombings – cause almost three-quarters (72%) of all children’s deaths and injuries in war zones, a report by Save the Children has revealed.

The analysis shows children are “uniquely and horrifically injured and impacted” by explosive weapons compared to adults. It said children exposed to explosive weapons often show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and agoraphobia.

The aid agency and experts at Imperial College London also yesterday unveiled the world’s first field manual for the treatment of child casualties from explosions, which was requested by doctors working with casualties in Syria.

“It starts from the point when something goes ‘bang’ and a child is exposed to that explosion,” said former British army surgeon Paul Reavley, one of the  manual’s authors.

Children in many conflict zones around the world are victims of blast injuries at school or on the journey to the classroom. Theirworld’s report Safe Schools: The Hidden Crisis showed that from 2013 to 2017 there were more than 12,700 attacks on schools, harming more than 21,000 students and educators in at least 70 countries.

Nigerians remember girl kidnapped by Boko haram

Nigerian activists staged a rally on Tuesday to mark the 16th birthday of a girl who was abducted by Boko Haram 449 days ago.

Leah Sharibu is the only girl still in captivity following the abduction of more than 100 female students in February last year from a secondary school at Dapchi in the northeast state of Yobe. 

Almost all were released after about a month following negotiations with the Nigerian government. But Leah was held, allegedly because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

Charity groups, most of which are affiliated with churches, organised the rally to mark her 16th birthday and press the government to work harder for her release. Dozens of activists staged their march at the Unity Fountains in Abuja’s Central District – scene of many of the #BringBackOur Girls protests following the Chibok school kidnappings in 2014. 

Owner of collapsed Mexican school charged over 26 deaths

News Roundup May 17 Mexican School

The school in southern Mexico City buckled under the weight of floors added over the years with scant steel support (Gary Coronado / Twitter)

The owner of an elementary school in Mexico City that collapsed in a 2017 earthquake, killing 19 children and seven adults, was indicted yesterday on homicide charges after construction irregularities were found at the site.

Monica Garcia Villegas, owner of the private Rebsamen school, was arrested after she spent more than a year on the run. She will now face trial on 26 counts of culpable homicide, officials said.

The school was the focus of worldwide attention in the hours after the earthquake, as rescuers mounted a round-the-clock effort to find any survivors. Rumours of a young girl trapped alive under the flattened complex soon evaporated however, leaving only the grim toll of bodies beneath the rubble.

Garcia Villegas immediately went into hiding as reports emerged that she had built a big apartment with even a Jacuzzi atop the school without obtaining the necessary construction permits. Experts say the extra weight likely contributed to the building’s collapse.

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