Ensuring the Continuity and Resumption of Education in Crisis Situations

Ensuring the Continuity and Resumption of Education in Crisis Situations


28 July 2021

Jakarta, Indonesia — Collaborative work among the authorities, education institutions, humanitarian organizations and other stakeholders in order to ensure the continuity and resumption of education in crisis situations was at the core of discussion during a webinar on Wednesday (July 28, 2021), co-organized by ASEAN Foundation, ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

In her keynote speech, Dr Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy at the ICRC said that access to education and to safe schools is critically important, before, after and during crises: it creates a protective and stabilizing effect on the lives of children and their families.

Ensuring the continuity of education and a safe learning environment, including during crises, is key to avoid creating a generation-wide education gap with long-term consequences for people and countries. Our experience tells us that we can prepare better to ensure the continuity of education during crises, whatever these crises may be. Dr Durham added.

The panel discussion and exchanges that followed underscored the need to reinforce and prioritize education as an essential public service, enhance preparedness and resiliency, develop robust infrastructure, and advocate for a stronger partnership among all stakeholders including government, community, schools and the private sector.

Dr Yang Mee Eng, Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation underlined that with the development of the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2021-2025 underway, it is the duty of key ASEAN stakeholders to ensure that the new work plan is able to provide strong foundation for the regions education system. This is also the right momentum to accelerate the public and private collaboration in providing better recovery roadmap for ASEANs education system.

Mr I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, Executive Director of ASEAN-IPR, highlighted that the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Blueprint called to promote education as an effective means to instil respect and values of tolerance, non-violence and mutual understanding to prevent the spread of radicalism/extremism, as well as to address its root causes. He further underscored that access to education acts as one of the main vehicles that allows upward socioeconomic mobility, as building blocks for national and local peacebuilding efforts.

Mr Alexandre Faite, the Head of ICRC Regional Delegation for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, highlighted that, for people affected by crisis, especially armed conflict and other situations of violence, access to education is a key priority, particularly because education enables people to live and rebuild their lives with dignity and provides them with knowledge and skills to make important decisions about their life, livelihood, and well-being.

This online forum brought together participation of representatives from the ASEAN Foundation, ASEAN-IPR including Members of the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry (AWPR), ASEAN Secretariat, ministries and state agencies, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, think-tanks, universities, civil society organizations, humanitarian organizations, and ASEAN youth.

The Webinar was also livestreamed on the ASEAN-IPRs YouTube channel and is available for replay for those who missed the live-stream.

For further information, please contact:

Mr Mahmudi Yusbi, ASEAN Foundation: mahmudi.yusbi@aseanfoundation.org

Mr Rifat S. Fachir, ASEAN-PR: rifat.fachir@asean-aipr.org

Mr Novryan Pahlawan, ICRC: npahlawan@icrc.org

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