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Research report

Alternative education: Filling the gap in emergency and post-conflict situations

Pamela Baxter and Lynne Bethke

This report reviews some of the types of alternative education programmes that are offered in emergency and post-conflict situations and the contribution of these programmes to achieving the goals of Education for All

Children in emergency situations, especially those who have been affected by conflict, have a wide range of educational needs depending on their context. They have missed part or all of their education or at the very least their education has been disrupted. Many children affected by conflict have witnessed or experienced horrific events and so require psychosocial support. In addition, all children in emergencies require specific skills and knowledge to help them deal with the world that they now live in. Not all those who have been affected by conflict have the same educational responses - some can and will re-enter formal schooling if it is available. Others, especially older children, may want to access education but may not be able or willing to attend primary school with younger children. They may, however, be prepared to attend alternative education programmes with the goal of completing at least the primary cycle or of achieving basic literacy and numeracy skills, and perhaps learning some type of trade or skill that will help them obtain employment.