Quality education is education thatworks for every child and enablesall children to achieve their full potential.The Child-Friendly Schools Manual was developed during three-and-a-half years of continuous work,involving UNICEF education staff and specialists from partner agencies working on quality education.It beneﬁts from ﬁeldwork in 155 countries and territories, evaluations carried out by the Regional Ofﬁcesand desk reviews conducted by headquarters in NewYork.We particularly acknowledge the contributionsof colleagues who participated in two CFS Writers’ Workshops held in Glen Cove, NewYork, in June 2005and August 2006.Project managers and ﬁnal writers: Cream Wright (lead writer), Changu Mannathoko and Maida Pasic.Edited, produced and distributed by UNICEF’s Division of Communication.
1CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUALIntroductionReferencesChapter 1 – Purpose, scope and concept1.1 Background1.2 Purpose and scope1.3 Precursors of an evolving model1.4 Promise of a consolidated CFS modelChapter 2 – Dynamics of theory in practice2.1 Overview2.2 Implementation as an eclectic process2.3 Key principles, desired features andstandards2.4 Putting children ﬁrst2.5 Implementation of models in variouscountriesChapter 3 – Location, design and construction3.1 Introduction3.2 Pedagogy and design3.3 Locating schools or learning spaces3.4 Additional elements in design3.5 Factors inﬂuencing design3.6 Design with involvement of all3.7 Remaining challengesChapter 4 – School and community4.1 School-community links4.2 The school as a learning community4.3 The school in the community4.4 Reaching out to the community andbeyond4.5 Communities and child-friendlylearning spaces4.6 Policy implications4.7 Supervision and oversightChapter 5 – Schools as protective environments5.1 Introduction5.2 The right to learn in safe, healthyenvironments5.3 Children at special risk5.4 Assessing threats to health, safety andsecurity5.5 Reducing risks and increasingprotection5.6 School organization and management5.7 Child-friendly education in emergenciesChapter 6 – Learners, teachers and schoolmanagers6.1 School reform and learningachievement6.2 Preparing teachers6.3 School head as leader and mentor6.4 Organizing classrooms and learningspaces6.5 Pedagogic materials6.6 Learning and teaching methods6.7 CurriculumChapter 7 – Costs and beneﬁts7.1 ‘Costing’ the elements7.2 Estimating resource requirementsChapter 8 – Monitoring and evaluating8.1 Why monitor and evaluate?8.2 What needs to be monitored andevaluated?8.3 A focus on dynamic monitoring andevaluation8.4 The learner as the focus of monitoringand evaluation8.5 Monitoring and evaluation to supportCFS mainstreaming8.6 Monitoring and evaluation to supportinvestment8.7 An overview of experience with CFSmonitoring and evaluation8.8 Who should monitor and evaluate, andwhat are their potential roles?8.9 Other issues on monitoring andevaluation of CFS models8.10 The way forwardChapter 9 – Mainstreaming child-friendlyconcepts9.1 Understanding mainstreaming9.2 Simulation modelling andmainstreamingMANUAL TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION: WHY A CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUAL?4children around the world who donot attend school. But it is perhapseven more daunting to rectify thedeplorable conditions endured bymillions of children already in school,conditions that are antithetical tolearning, children’s well-being andtheir future livelihood.And children face negative conditionsnot only in school. The home andcommunity environment can alsopose challenges that make it difﬁcultfor children to enrol in school,attend regularly, complete the ﬁnalyear of the cycle or achieve theprescribed level of learning. Foodand water insecurity, undernutrition,parasitic infestations, unhygienicsurroundings, chronic poverty,household chores, harmful traditionalbeliefs and practices, domesticovercrowding, gender discrimination,HIV and AIDS, domestic violence,childcare deﬁciencies and theincreasing prevalence and severityof natural disasters related to climatechange are factors that can wreakhavoc with a child’s right to attendand complete school. Schoolsmust therefore focus on the wholechild, which means taking intoaccount conditions in the family orcommunity that might be hinderinghis or her educational progress.Fulﬁlling the education-relatedMillennium Development Goals(MDGs) requires not just getting allchildren into school, but makingsure that all schools work in the bestinterest of the children entrustedto them. This means providingsafe and protective schoolsthat are adequately staffed withtrained teachers, equipped withadequate resources and graced withappropriate conditions for learning.Recognizing that different childrenface different circumstances and havedifferent needs, such schools buildon the assets that children bring fromtheir homes and communities andalso compensate for shortcomingsin the home and communityenvironment. They enable childrento achieve, at a minimum, theknowledge and skills prescribedin the curriculum. They also helpthem develop the ability to thinkand reason, build self-respect andrespect for others, and reach their fullpotential as individuals, members oftheir communities and citizens of theworld. Child-friendly schools (CFS)embrace a multidimensional conceptof quality and address the total needsof the child as a learner.The case for a CFS manualVarious school models illustrate waysto improve the quality of education.However, it is the CFS modelsthat have emerged as the mostcomprehensive in their approachand the most widespread, both in thenumber of countries in which theyhave been put into practice and thegeographical distribution of thosecountries. Not surprisingly, CFSmodels vary from country to country.As the main proponent of theseCFS models, UNICEF has theresponsibility of providing a coherentaccount of them, summarizing theirmain features so as to create aprototype that can serve as the basisfor developing national capacitiesto design and implement CFS in awide range of countries. The sameprototype can also enable countriesto incorporate CFS standardsinto their educational plans and
5CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUALrealistically estimate the cost ofachieving basic education for allwith attention to quality standards.It is against this background thatUNICEF embarked on the preparationof this CFS manual, a practical guidethat aims to:(a) Provide an introduction tothe child-friendly concept, itsunderlying ideology and the keyprinciples from which the maincharacteristics of a child-friendlyschool can be derived in differentcontexts and circumstances.(b) Outline, with supportingarguments, the multiple ways inwhich CFS models consistentlycontribute to quality education ina wide range of national contexts.(c) Highlight the intrinsic value of CFSmodels for developing quality inany education system as:i. Flexible models that offer‘pathways’ to quality ratherthan prescribe blueprints thatshould be rigorously copied inall situations.ii. Heuristic models that offeropportunities to movetowards the quality standardsthrough a series of cumulativeimprovements rather thanimpose an overwhelming ‘one-off’ or ‘all-at-once’ approach.iii. Reforming models that requireserious reﬂection on basicprinciples and issues relatingto the whole child as a learnerand the conditions that make forsuccessful learning rather thanunreﬂectively apply a numberof technical inputs that areassumed to inﬂuence the qualityof education.(d) Provide practical guidance onthe design, construction andmaintenance of child-friendlyschools as safe, welcomingenvironments in which childrencan learn, emphasizing links withthe community, the inﬂuence ofpedagogic considerations, cost-effectiveness and sustainability.(e) Provide practical guidance on theoperation and management ofchild-friendly schools, elaboratingon the role of school heads,teachers, non-teaching staff, pupils,parents, communities and local andnational education authorities.(f) Provide practical guidance onclassroom processes in child-friendly schools, emphasizingsuch key features as:i. The role of teaching/learningaids and materials in creatinga stimulating environment thatis managed by the teacher andenriches the overall classroomexperience for the learner.ii. The interaction betweenteacher and learners, with theteacher as authority ﬁgure andfacilitator of learning and thelearner as active participantin a democratic process thatinvolves mutual respect.iii. The pedagogic process, whichis both structured enough tofacilitate measurable learningprogress and ﬂexible enoughto facilitate the use of a varietyof techniques for promotingachievement of learningoutcomes.(g) Highlight the importance ofcultivating a sense of communityin child-friendly schools by useof such features as:
7CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUALAbdazi, H. (2007, October). Absenteeismand beyond: Instructional time loss andconsequences. World Bank Policy ResearchPaper No. 4376. Working Paper Series.Washington, DC: World Bank.Attig, G. & Hopkins, J. (2006). Assessingchild-friendly schools: A guide for programmanagers in East Asia and the Pacific.Bangkok: UNICEF East Asia and PacificRegional Office.Bernard, A. K. (1999). The child-friendlyschool: Concept and practice. Draft, preparedfor the Education Section. New York: UnitedNations Children’s Fund.Chabbott, C. (2004). UNICEF’s Child-friendlyschools framework: A desk review. New York:United Nations Children’s Fund.Dierkx, R. J. (Forthcoming). Micro-actionurban child-friendly planning and designguidelines for planners in Iran.Education for All: Is commitment enough?.(2003). Education International Report, No. 1.Brussels: Education International.Hulbert, A. (2007, April 1). Re-education. TheNew York Times Magazine, Section 6, 36–41.Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University.(n.d.). CHILD Project Update. Retrieved 23October 2008 fromhttp://www.inmu.mahidol.ac.th/CHILD/.International Rescue Committee. (2003).Classroom assistant professionaldevelopment training manual. Retrieved21 October 2008 from www.ineesite.org/tt_resource_kit/Classroom%20Assistant%20Professional%20Development%20Training%20Manual.doc.Letshabo, K. (2002). Technical evaluation ofbreakthrough to literacy in Uganda. Retrieved21 October 2008 from http://www.unicef.org/evaldatabase/files/2002_Uganda_Literacy_rec_358398.pdf.Life Skills Development Foundation.(2000). ‘Child-Friendly’ community schoolsapproach for promoting health, psychologicaldevelopment, and resilience in children andyouth affected by AIDS. Chiang Mai, Thailand:The Life Skills Development Foundation.Little, A. (1995). Multigrade teaching: Areview of practice and research, serialNo. 12. London: Overseas DevelopmentAdministration.Lone, P. (1996). Comments: Keeping girls inschool. The Progress of Nations 1996. NewYork: United Nations Children’s Fund.Mwiria, K. (1990). Kenya’s harambeesecondary school movement: Thecontradictions of public policy. ComparativeEducation Review, 34(3), p. 350-368.Mercado, J. L. (2005, April). Grime, clothslippers and hope. Sun Star, MindanaoBulletin, Gold Star Daily, Scribe, VisayanDaily Star and other community newspapers.Visayas, Philippines.Miske, S. (2003). Proud pioneers: Improvingteaching and learning in Malawi throughcontinuous assessment. Washington, DC:American Institute for Research.Pinheiro, P. S. (2006, August 29). Report of theindependent expert for the United NationsStudy on violence against children. New York:United Nations.Pinheiro, P. S. (2006). World report on violenceagainst children. Geneva: United Nations.REFERENCES
REFERENCES8Portillo, Z. (1999, April 8). Latin Americagets poor marks. Retrieved 21 October 2008from http://www.converge.org.nz/lac/articles/news990408a.htm.Rodraksa, N. (2005, March). Batik painting inThailand: A life restored by art. Building backbetter: A 12-month update on UNICEF’s workto rebuild lives and restore hope since thetsunami. New York: United Nation’s Children’sFund.Rutther, M., Maughan, B., Mortimore, P., &Ouston, J., with Smith, A. (1979). Fifteenthousand hours: Secondary schools and theireffects on children. London: Open Books &Boston: Harvard University Press.UNESCO-UIS & UNICEF. (2005). Children outof school: Measuring exclusion from primaryeducation. Montreal: UNESCO Institute forStatistics.UNGEI. (n.d.). Nigeria: UNICEF and partnerscreate a model child-friendly school. NewYork: United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative.Retrieved 21 October 2008 from http://www.ungei.org/infobycountry/nigeria_321.html.UNICEF. (1999). The state of the world’s children2000. New York: United Nations Children’sFund.UNICEF. (2002). Child- and learning-friendly environment in primary schools inEthiopia: A documentation of the processes.Ethiopia: United Nations Children’sFund. Retrieved 21 October 2008 fromhttp://www.unicef.org/evaluation/files/ethiopia2002schoolclusterapproach.doc.UNICEF. (2002). Proyecto escuela amiga: Guíapara maestros y autoridades escolares. Mexico:United Nations Children’s Fund.UNICEF. (2002). Putting a face and a memoryto each student’s name: An interview with Mrs.Erlinda J. Valdez, Principal Francisco BenitezElementary School. Retrieved 21 October2008 from http://www.unicef.org/teachers/forum/0302.htm.UNICEF. (2004). Child friendly spaces/environments (CFS/E): An integrated servicesstrategy for emergencies and their aftermath.New York: United Nations Children’s Fund.UNICEF. (2007). Community contracts help buildchild-friendly schools in Madagascar. Retrieved21 October 2008 from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/madagascar_39221.html.UNICEF. (2008). A world fit for children. NewYork: United Nations Children’s Fund.UNICEF. (2008). The state of the world’s children2009. New York: United Nations Children’sFund.UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office.(2003). Inclusive education initiatives forChildren with Disabilities: Lessons from theEast Asia and Pacific region. Bangkok, Thailand:United Nations Children’s Fund.UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office.(2005). Assessing child-friendly schools: Aguide for programme managers in East Asiaand the Pacific (draft 5).World Food Programme & UNICEF. (2005).The Essential Package: Twelve interventions toimprove the health and nutrition of school-agechildren. Rome: WFP School Feeding Service.
TABLE OF CONTENTSCHAPTER 1Purpose, scope and concept1.1 Background1.2 Purpose and scope1.3 Precursors of an evolving model1.4 Promise of a consolidated CFS model
1CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUALSigniﬁcant progress has been madein the past decade towards fulﬁllingMillennium Development Goal 2(MDG 2) – universal access andcompletion of primary school by2015 – even though the relatedinterim target of MDG 3 – genderparity in primary and secondaryeducation by 2005 – was not achievedglobally. Many countries have scoredimpressive gains in both enrolmentand closing the gender gap ineducation.Recent data show a decrease in thenumber of children not enrolled inschool, from 94 million in 2002 to75 million in 2006. However, far toomany children who are enrolledstill fail to complete their education,dropping out due to poor schoolquality and other factors. At anygiven time, the number of childrenattending school is far less than thenumber enrolled, since dropping outof school is not immediately reﬂectedin enrolment data.An estimated 115 million primary-school-age children were notattending school in 2002 (UNESCO-UIS & UNICEF, 2005), and around 101million were not attending schoolin 2006 (UNICEF, forthcoming). Inaddition to poor education quality,such persistent challenges to schoolattendance as child labour, HIV andAIDS, civil conﬂict, natural disasters,chronic environmental degradationand deepening poverty continue tothreaten gains in school enrolment andcompletion rates in many countries.The challenge in education is notsimply to get children into school,but also to improve the overall qualityof schooling and address threatsto participation. If both quality andaccess are tackled, children who areenrolled in primary school are likelyto continue, complete the full cycle,achieve expected learning outcomesand successfully transition tosecondary school.There is an organic link betweenaccess and quality that makes thelatter an integral part of any strategyfor achieving the education MDGsand Education for All (EFA) goals.School quality must therefore be ofcentral interest to policymakers andpractitioners concerned with thelow primary education survival andcompletion rates in various regions ofthe world. In West and Central Africa,for instance, only 48.2 per cent of thechildren enrolled in the ﬁrst gradesurvive to the last grade of primaryschool. The comparable survival ratefor countries in Eastern and SouthernAfrica is 64.7 per cent.1.1 BACKGROUNDCHAPTER 1PURPOSE, SCOPE AND CONCEPT
CHAPTER 1: PURPOSE, SCOPE AND CONCEPT2These trends have given rise toconcerted efforts to tackle theissue of quality in basic educationworldwide, with such agencies asUNICEF intensifying their work toaddress education quality moresystematically. It is in this context thatUNICEF’s strategy and programminghave evolved over time, culminatingin child-friendly school (CFS) modelsas comprehensive ways of dealingwith all factors affecting quality.Like most reality-based innovations,the CFS models are not simplyan abstract concept or a rigidmethodological prescription. Theyrepresent pragmatic pathwaystowards quality in education thathave evolved (and are still evolving),from the principle of education asa human right to a child-centeredideology that regards the best interestof the child as paramount at alltimes. This makes the child centralto the educational process and themain beneﬁciary of key decisions ineducation. But it does not mean thatCFS models are inﬂexible ideologicalblueprints. Because they aregrounded in the reality of resourceconstraints and lack of capacity fordesigning and implementing idealsolutions (see Chapter 2), they adhereto the principle of ‘progressiverealization’ of children’s right toquality education.CFS advocates are willing tonegotiate priorities regarding whatis in the best interest of the child andmake trade-offs based on what isfeasible for schools and educationsystems to accomplish within a giventime frame, using available resourcesand capacities.1.2 PURPOSE AND SCOPEThe purpose of a CFS model isto move schools and educationsystems progressively towardsquality standards, addressing allelements that inﬂuence the well-being and rights of the child as alearner and the main beneﬁciaryof teaching, while improving otherschool functions in the process.Quality standards should make itpossible for all children to accessschool, survive from grade to gradeand complete the cycle on time; theyshould also provide an enrichededucational experience throughwhich students can thrive, developand achieve their full potential. Tothis end, CFS models are concernedwith harnessing the full involvementand support of all parties in aposition to facilitate children’s rightto a quality education. These parties,or ‘duty bearers’, include parents,communities, teachers, school heads,education planners and civil societygroups, as well as local and nationalgovernments and their externalpartners. Their involvement enablesschools and education systems toprovide the conditions and resourcesnecessary for achieving the qualitystandards CFS models envision.As for scope, CFS models embracea concept of quality that goes wellbeyond pedagogic excellence andperformance outcomes. The focusis on the needs of the child as a
CHAPTER 1: PURPOSE, SCOPE AND CONCEPT41.3 PRECURSORS OF AN EVOLVING MODELThe evolution of child-friendly schoolstravelled a practical as well as atheoretical track, and it is important tounderstand the combination of actionand reﬂection that has culminated inCFS models as the standard for qualityin UNICEF’s work in basic education.Like other agencies, UNICEF helpscountries improve the quality of theeducation they offer their children.Twenty years ago this assistanceinvolved mainly interventions relatedto pedagogic factors such as teachertraining, supply of text books andlearning materials, advocacy forpolicies on class size and teachingmethodology. This ‘single-factor’approach to school quality producedimprovements, but they werefrequently compromised by otherfactors in the education setting. Forinstance, teacher training might haveproduced gains, but a lack of textbooksand materials in schools oftenundermined these gains. Similarly,introduction of life skills content in thecurriculum, including good hygienepractices, was often compromisedbecause many schools did nothave an adequate water supply orenough toilets to produce meaningfulbehaviour change in learners.(b) How well they are received byschools and teachers prepared tomeet their needs and uphold theirrights;(c) How far their general healthand well-being are addressedas an integral part of promotinglearning;(d) How safe the schools are as placesfor learning and how completelythey provide an overall gender-sensitive environment that isconducive to learning;(e) The extent to which schools andteachers respect the rights ofchildren and operate in the bestinterest of the child;(f) The extent to which child-centredteaching methods are embracedas good practice and standardmethodology by teachers and theschool;(g) How far child participation isencouraged as standard practicein classroom interaction as wellas in the broader operation andmanagement of the school;(h) The extent to which effort andresources are invested in creatingstimulating classrooms thatsupport active learning for all;(i) The availability of adequateenvironmentally sustainablefacilities, services and suppliesthat support the needs of thewhole child and also of allchildren;(j) The use of pedagogy thatchallenges and dismantlesdiscrimination based on gender,ethnicity or social backgroundProponents of CFS maintain thatall of these factors, interacting ina dynamic and organic manner,constitute the ‘packaged solution’that can be conﬁdently describedas a ‘child-friendly school’.
5CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUALTABLE 1: EXAMPLES OFTHE LIMITATIONS OF SINGLE-FACTOR INTERVENTIONSSingle-factorapproachImprovements and gains Compromising factorsTeacherdevelopment• Number of qualified teachersincreased• Better informed teachers• Irrelevance of curriculum to localcontext• Lack of materials and learning/teaching aidsProvision oftextbooks• Individual study facilitated• Academic performance boosted• Not connected to teacher developmentand culturally irrelevant• Insufficient quantity of textbooksHygiene and lifeskills education• Awareness of health and hygieneraised in children• Children empowered to participate incaring for themselves and others• Acute lack of sanitary facilities• Acute lack of safe water for drinkingand hand washing• Quality of life skills education often notgender-responsive or age-appropriateSchoolenvironment andenvironmentaleducation• More schools provided with accessto water and sanitation• Renewable energy sources forelectricity found• Trees and gardens planted at schools• Lack of connection to curriculum• Facilities subject to vandalism andmisuse• Lack of capacity for facilitiesmaintenanceSchool asa communityoutreach• Partnerships with parent-teacherassociations and school governingboards forged• Young people’s organizations formed• Poor capacity development for parentsand community leaders• Restricted spaces for young people toparticipateBecause it is concerned with the wholechild and its intersectoral approachto programming for children, UNICEFworks to improve water supplyand gender-sensitive sanitationfacilities; promote good hygienepractices; address nutritional needsthrough school-based interventions;increase access to energy; andaddress challenges posed by climatechange through improvements indisaster risk reduction, preparednessand response capacity. UNICEFalso supports measures that helpreduce the negative impact ofchild labour, child trafﬁcking andgender-based violence. These areall child protection issues that haveserious implications for education.Measures taken in school, suchas providing water and sanitation,school meals and counselling, havebecome essential components ofoverall quality of education. Studieshave consistently shown that theyinﬂuence access, retention andcompletion. Links between waterand sanitation in schools and schoolaccess and retention rates are welldocumented, for instance, as are linksbetween school meals and accessand attendance among children indisadvantaged communities. Hindsightsuggests that UNICEF’s shift from asingle-factor approach to a packageapproach in promoting educationquality has been a signiﬁcant phase inthe evolution of CFS models.
CHAPTER 1: PURPOSE, SCOPE AND CONCEPT6Another important phase has beenthe shift from targeted to system-wideinterventions in education. Addressingthe needs of disadvantagedgroups often means that UNICEF’swork is directed towards speciﬁccommunities or population groups.Such interventions, typically designedas ‘projects’, tend to be relativelysmall-scale or localized and involveinnovative ‘problem-solving’strategies as well as persistentinvestment of effort and resources tomake them work for the populationthey aim to help. As a result, UNICEFhas been able to report improvementsin access, retention or learningachievement in its operational areas,which tend to perform better than thenational average for gains in suchquality indicators. Such narrowlyfocused interventions continue to benecessary in some circumstances, butthey are not the most efﬁcient way ofproviding quality basic education forall children.If education systems are fullyinclusive, quality education can beextended to all groups as a matter ofroutine. Bringing this about requiressystems-level interventions. Insteadof just ‘doing’ child-friendly schoolsin local communities, CFS models are‘sold’ as good practice for the entireeducation system. Shifting to systemsinterventions supports change acrossthe whole sector and helps countriesset standards for quality throughoutthe education system. This realizationhas pushed UNICEF to advocate thatcountries adopt child-friendly schoolsas a comprehensive quality modelin their national education plans andpriorities, which in turn has raisedthe issue of clarity, deﬁning whatCFS is and how countries can utilizesuch a model.Since there are examples of child-friendly schools in many countries,UNICEF country ofﬁces often engagein ‘show-and-tell’ about CFS models.Far more difﬁcult has been the effortto formulate a deﬁnitive package,clearly deﬁning and laying out keyparameters of child-friendly schoolsthat could be adopted as an integralpart of a national education plan. Thepackage should include cost detailsand variables that can be projectedin any simulation model used todecide on feasible priorities for agiven country.There are two further challenges.First, it is not enough to work withnational counterparts to make schoolschild-friendly. It is also necessaryto cultivate local capacity fordesigning, operating and managingchild-friendly schools as part of thenational education system. In Kenya,for example, when free primaryeducation was declared, UNICEFsuccessfully advocated for theinclusion of most of its child-friendlyinterventions and key strategies in thenew Education Sector Support Plan. Itthen became essential for UNICEF toshift from projects that make schoolschild-friendly towards helping to buildKenyan national capacity to reproducethe CFS model countrywide.Second, a systems approach impliesworking more closely with otherpartner agencies. In this regard,UNICEF engaged with other models,such as the Escuelas Nuevas thatoriginated from work on qualityeducation in Colombia, as well aswith other quality frameworksconcerned with parts of the picture,such as Focusing Resources onEffective School Health (FRESH),which deals mainly with the health
7CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUALand nutrition aspects of CFS. Withdifferent models seeking to achievesimilar outcomes in education, quality,clarity and coherence have becomecritical for selling CFS models aspackages that countries can adoptin their national education plansand priorities.Parallel with these programmingchanges on the ground, UNICEF hasalso been investing in theoreticalreﬂection and concept-building relatedto child-friendly schools. The child-friendly school concept was ﬁrstused in a systematic way by UNICEF,Save the Children and the WorldHealth Organization in the mid-1990s,largely as the educational equivalentof the ‘baby-friendly hospitals’ thatcontributed to quality standards inhealth. With UNICEF’s inﬂuence, theconcept of child-friendly schools wassoon widened beyond health andnutrition issues to include concernswith broader elements of quality ineducation, such as gender sensitivity,inclusiveness and human rights.In 1995, UNICEF’s Innocenti ResearchCentre held a workshop on the theme‘What is a child-friendly school?’ thatresulted in an informal summaryoutlining 13 Characteristics of a Rights-Based School that are essential to theCFS concept. In subsequent workingpapers, CFS was presented as an‘umbrella’ under which the diverseactivities and goals of UNICEF’s workon schools might be consolidatedand rationalized. While these effortsdid not produce a formally accepteddeﬁnition of the CFS model, theidea of ‘13 deﬁning characteristics’gained currency and continues to bea reference point for the advocacyand implementation of child-friendlyschools.By early 2000, UNICEF was expandingthe deﬁnition of quality for keyelements of child-friendly schools. Bythe end of 2001, UNICEF emphasizeda comprehensive and complexquality package that was nuancedto ﬁt different country realities.This has given rise to variations onthe CFS theme within the agency.A global survey of the conceptand its application within UNICEFprogrammes reveals a mixed picture,making it difﬁcult to sell the conceptto countries or partner agenciesas a coherent model for quality ineducation. There has been a tendencyto overprescribe on child-friendlyschools and to underemphasizetraining and capacity for using theCFS model in education systems.Despite these difﬁculties, steadyprogress has been made with theCFS model, and the number ofcountries in which UNICEF is usingthe approach increased steadily, froman estimated 33 countries in 2004 to56 countries in 2007.The problem, however, is that theemerging CFS models present aconfusing picture. They tend to focuson ‘deﬁning characteristics’, but thenumber of characteristics variesfrom as few as 6 to as many as 16depending on the context. Thesemodels also attempt to deﬁne child-friendly schools in terms of ‘keycomponents’, including pedagogy,health, gender sensitivity, communityparticipation, inclusiveness andprotection. (See Chapter 2.)Following recent emergencies therehas been an increasing emphasis onthe architectural aspects – location,design and construction – of child-friendly schools. This emphasis reﬂectsnot only the need to provide physical
CHAPTER 1: PURPOSE, SCOPE AND CONCEPT8facilities, promote good pedagogyand gain cost-efﬁciency, but alsothe need to address environmentalissues, community participation,the safety of school locations andthe provision of ‘safe areas’ withinschools. Most recently, issues ofelectric power (including solar,wind and other alternative sources)and Internet connectivity are beingexplored as part of the focus of CFSmodels. It is likely that, as in theearlier case of water and sanitation,these elements will also become partof CFS models in some countries.An additional challenging dimensionto CFS models is the emergingquestion of when and where it isappropriate to introduce CFS models.A prime example was seen in Bam(Iran) after the 2003 earthquake.Here and in similar situations,UNICEF expanded the CFS conceptto encompass more holistic concernsrelating to child-centred homes,child-centred communities andchild-centred cities, taking up majorenvironment, health, protection andcivic issues as highlighted in theConvention on the Rights of the Child(CRC). This is signiﬁcant in that ithighlights the links between schoolsand communities in a novel senseand gives rise to several questions:Is it necessary to have a supportiveenvironment encompassing thehome, community, city and society atlarge for child-friendly schools to beviable? Is the process of establishingchild-friendly schools also an attemptto change standards and practicesin homes, communities, cities andsociety at large? Is it possible to ‘buildback better’ after natural disasters orcivil conﬂict by using child-friendlyschools as springboards for changein the wider society? Can risks ofchronic environmental degradationand sudden-onset disastersbe reduced through structuralimprovements, mapping andpreparedness activities? These arecritical questions for the CFS models,and they highlight links betweenhome, school and community ina way that goes well beyond theconventional sense.Schools can be designed, constructedand operated in any community.However, if the principles underlyingCFS models are taken seriously,questions arise about the type ofsetting in which schools of thisnature are feasible and within whichthey can thrive. In order to achieveits potential, a child-friendly schoolmay require a supportive social,cultural and political environment.It can be argued that such schoolsare more likely to be viable andsustainable in societies that are just,democratic, peaceful and tolerant.Embracing diversity throughtolerance, inclusiveness and fairnessis the starting point for recognizingand facilitating the right to qualityeducation for all children regardlessof their background. When thereis a social, cultural and politicalclimate open to child participationand respect for children’s rights fromthe level of the family up throughthe local community and into thewider society, it is more likely thannot that a country can develop apolicy framework, set national plansand priorities, and make the type ofbudget allocations that are supportiveof child-friendly schools.Proponents of child-friendly schoolssuggest that even in the poorestcommunities, if supportive elementsare present, it is possible to make
CHAPTER 1: PURPOSE, SCOPE AND CONCEPT10If the underlying ideology and keyprinciples that drive the deﬁningcharacteristics of child-friendlyschools in different contexts can beharnessed into a comprehensiveguideline with illustrative practicalexamples, the great promise of thisapproach to quality can be fullyrealized in the form of a consolidatedchild-friendly school model. As a toolfor planning quality basic educationin national systems, this modelwould greatly enhance the chancesof achieving the EFA goals and theeducation MDGs. A consolidatedCFS model also promises a moreparticipatory and comprehensiveapproach to planning for qualityeducation. For example:(a) Stronger links between schoolsand their communities willfacilitate the consultative process,a prerequisite for developingcredible education sector plansthat can attract external supportin line with the good governancerequirements of the MonterreyConsensus,1the Fast TrackInitiative and the UN Decadeof Education for SustainableDevelopment;(b) The same stronger links will makeit more likely that communitieswill identify with and besupportive of their schools,ultimately strengthening theprocess of providing quality basiceducation for all children;(c) A focus on the well-being of thewhole child, including attentionto the different needs of differentgroups according to such factorsas their gender, physical abilityand socio-economic status, willhelp address disparities thatstem from home and communitybackgrounds, creating a morelevel playing ﬁeld for all learnersto achieve their full potentialthrough education;(d) An emphasis on inclusivenesswill enable countries to tap andharness the full potential of theirhuman resources;(e) A more conducive learningenvironment will help minimizethe repetition and drop-out ratesthat also contribute to poorquality due to internal inefﬁciencywithin schools and educationsystems;(f) Child-centred pedagogy is morelikely to produce independentthinkers who can makeconstructive contributions toa participatory democracy andadapt to changing circumstances;(g) Child-centred pedagogy will alsoenable teachers to improve theirprofessional status as facilitatorsof learning, custodians ofchildren’s well-being while theyare in school and authority ﬁguresin the management of linksbetween the school andthe community;1.4 PROMISE OF A CONSOLIDATED CFS MODEL1The Monterrey Consensus is a compact between developing countries and major donor countriesthat commits the former to demonstrating political will and good governance in providing educationand other services to their population, while committing the latter to funding the ﬁnancing gapsthat prevent these services from reaching the population.
CHAPTER 1: PURPOSE, SCOPE AND CONCEPT12(b) Formally evaluate the impact ofchild-friendly schools in a widerange of country contexts;(c) Support national capacity-buildingfor the use of CFS models toimplement quality educationstandards by providing trainingexpertise and resources suchas this reference manual, thee-learning package and a handbookof case studies on child-friendlyschools;(d) Support national capacity toconduct rights-based causalityanalysis through consultationacross sectors to ensure optimalcooperation with health,environment, water, ﬁnance andother relevant ministries;(e) Support the establishment ofmonitoring and evaluationmechanisms that include gender-sensitive quality indicators to helpcountries track progress and makeadjustments in the way they useCFS models to improve quality intheir education systems;(f) Help leverage ﬁnancing forcountries that incorporate child-friendly school standards as part oftheir strategy for building quality intheir education systems;(g) ‘Accompany’ countries that arein the process of implementingCFS models by providing usefulguidelines and working closelywith their nationals to set up andoperate child-friendly schools indifferent communities.
TABLE OF CONTENTSCHAPTER 2Dynamics of theory in practice2.1 Overview2.2 Implementation as an eclectic process2.3 Key principles, desired features and standards2.4 Putting children ﬁrst2.5 Implementation of models in various countries2.5.1 Broad overview of trends2.5.2 Speciﬁc country examples2.5.3 Child-friendly spaces in emergencies and their aftermath2.5.4 Child-friendly learning spaces outside school2.5.5 Linkages between child-friendly schools and early child development
1CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUALThis chapter explores the variousoptions for implementing child-friendlyschool (CFS) models. These optionsdepend on the dynamic interactionbetween theory (including ideology,concepts and principles) and practice(or practicalities such as resources,capacities and opportunities). It is thisinteraction that determines the natureand features of child-friendly schools.The inﬂuence of theory is highlightedwhen concepts and principles areinterpreted in different contexts andby different practitioners to producea variety of institutions that areidentiﬁable as child-friendly schools.Even when institutions have beendestroyed in emergencies, conceptsand principles can be applied tocreate temporary shelters that arechild-friendly learning spaces. On theother hand, the inﬂuence of practice ismanifested in how available resources,existing capacity and opportunitiesfor change produce a variety of child-friendly school types. Both theoryand practice inﬂuence outcomes inthe implementation of CFS models.The types of schools that result fromthis interactive process share enoughsimilarities to be classiﬁed as child-friendly, yet they also exhibit importantdifferences that help explain thedynamic and ﬂexible nature ofCFS models.In essence, the CFS model is apathway to quality education ratherthan a rigid blueprint. The applicationof child-friendly school concepts andprinciples in different countries andthe impact of practical realities indetermining what is feasible in thesesituations has given rise to guidelinesfor implementing CFS models. Theseguidelines underscore the need forﬂexibility in implementing the modelswhile demonstrating the limits ofvariation. The main contentions to bediscussed in this chapter include:(a) Implementation is an eclecticprocess, since child-friendlyschools are created on the basisof key principles that ultimatelyshape their main features.True CFS design requires theapplication of principles, notprescribed characteristics.(b) The main features of a givenchild-friendly school result fromapplying certain principles to aparticular setting and context.There is no ﬁxed set of featuresthat must be in every child-friendlyschool.(c) When child-friendly schoolprinciples are applied consistentlyin different settings and contexts,similar, although not identical,characteristics ensue, which should2.1. OverviewCHAPTER 2DYNAMICS OF THEORY IN PRACTICE2.1 OVERVIEW
CHAPTER 2: DYNAMICS OF THEORY IN PRACTICE2not be mistaken for the products ofa rigid recipe or blueprint.(d) Some characteristics, such aschild participation in the learningprocess, may be intuitivelyrecommended for child-friendlyschools, since they can beconsidered the inevitable, logicaloutcomes of applying CFSprinciples to almost any setting orcontext.(e) Making schools child-friendly isnot an ‘all-or-nothing’ process. Itcan begin with one principle andphase in others over time in astrategic sequence that ﬁts localrealities, promoting a ‘progressiverealization’ of the CFS model.(f) The key principles that drive thechild-friendly school process are sointerrelated that interpreting andimplementing any one principleinvariably sets off a chain reactionthat leads to related principles.(g) The role of teachers and schoolheads is so central to the CFSmodel that their training canusually be a good starting pointfor making schools child-friendly.Teachers and school heads do notsimply work in these schools, theymake schools child friendly andmaintain schools’ child-friendlynature.(h) Important synergies are gainedby linking key elements of thechild-friendly school model. Forinstance, connecting teachertraining to the preparationand provision of appropriatepedagogic materials makes theimplementation of quality learningin the classroom more efﬁcient.(i) There are cost savings to begained through economies ofscale, as implementation of child-friendly school models shifts fromsingle-school pilots to clusters ofschools to district-wide, province-wide and ﬁnally sector-widecoverage.(j) When the implementation processis driven by key principles ratherthan a ﬁxed set of characteristics,it is possible to create child-friendly schools in a wide variety ofcontexts and circumstances.(k) Adherence to a ﬁxed set ofcharacteristics can producesuperﬁcial models of child-friendlyschools that create confusion,invite scepticism and trivialize theconcept itself.(l) The complexity of applying child-friendly school principles todifferent contexts means that asefforts move from individual pilotsand demonstration models to largenumbers of schools and eventuallyto entire school systems, eachsetting yields valuable lessons.(m) A major challenge for large-scale implementation acrossthe education sector is a lackof standards, guidelines andspeciﬁcations to be used inincorporating key elements ofchild-friendly schools in processesthat are essential to a sector-wideinvestment approach, such asscenario-setting, projecting andcosting.(n) For the child-friendly model tobe taken seriously as an area fornational investment in qualityeducation, CFS programmingrequires a logical, consistentapproach that can be applied indifferent settings.
3CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUAL2.2 IMPLEMENTATION AS AN ECLECTIC PROCESSIn 2003, a review of global effortsto implement child-friendly schoolsfound that a wide range of conceptualinterpretations had been applied,resulting in a variety of manifestationsof child-friendly schools in differentcountries (Chabbott, 2004). This lackof coherence was attributable to thetendency to deﬁne child-friendlyschools in terms of prescribed featuresor characteristics, which did notnecessarily translate well from countryto country. The review found thatchild-friendly schools were deﬁned interms of anywhere from 6 to 12 ‘ﬁxed’characteristics. Most characteristicsappeared desirable, although it isunclear where these characteristicsoriginated.The Convention on the Rights of theChild (CRC) was often cited to supportthese prescribed characteristics. TheCRC was an ideological framework forchild-friendly schools, but in deﬁningthe child-friendly school concept the‘real’ linkages to the core principles ofthe CRC were not clearly established.It was therefore not evident whethersuch prescribed characteristics area ﬁnite set or an expandable list,nor, if expandable, how additionalcharacteristics for child-friendlyschools would be generated. Thismade it difﬁcult to treat child-friendlyschools as a coherent model thatcould be implemented in a logical,consistent, predictable manner indifferent contexts.This fundamental weakness canbe addressed by means of a soundprocess for designing child-friendlyschools based on key principles withclear origins that can be interpretedand applied in a variety of contextsto identify appropriate featuresor characteristics of child-friendlyschools. Once these features havebeen determined, they can be usedto develop CFS standards in a givendistrict, province or country. In additionto being a more coherent, predictableand logical model, this approachpromotes a democratic process ofdialogue and consultation in theinterpretation of leading principles andthe setting of standards. It discouragesmechanical application of a given setof ﬁxed characteristics.In practice, it is also possible for CFSdesign and implementation to beginwith a speciﬁc key characteristic orfeature and shift progressively toachieving the model that is ideal forthat particular context. In this sense,implementation of the CFS model is aneclectic process, which becomes moregrounded, logical and predictableby using standards to mainstreamthe model into national planningprocesses.Efforts to implement child-friendlyschools in different countries haveundergone two distinct phases.There was an early phase duringwhich efforts were not intended tocreate child-friendly schools but weredesigned to improve some aspectof schooling. These efforts usuallypredate the adoption of the child-friendly school concept by UNICEF andfocused more on seizing opportunitiesfor change than on building a ﬁxedset of characteristics. Over time, thechanged schools that resulted cameto be described ex post facto as child-friendly schools.
CHAPTER 2: DYNAMICS OF THEORY IN PRACTICE4In the later phase, after adoption ofthe CFS model by UNICEF, effortswere deliberately meant to makeschools child-friendly. Nevertheless,the design and implementation ofchild-friendly schools has been aneclectic and sometimes superﬁcialprocess in both phases: What getsdone ﬁrst and how things proceedtend to be determined by suchpracticalities as what is attractive toor accepted by the national and localeducation authorities.In Bangladesh, for example, theIntensive District Approach toEducation for All (IDEAL) project didnot begin with efforts to implement acertain number of CFS characteristics.It was a reform designed to improvethe quality of learning as integral toexpanding access for achieving theEducation for All (EFA) goals. IDEALbegan in 1996 by experimentingwith multiple ways of teaching andlearning, sensitizing teachers to thedifferent ways in which children learnand helping them adapt their teachingstyles accordingly. This invariablybecame a starting point for greaterchild-centredness (a CFS principle)in schools and classrooms. Overtime, there appears to have been achain reaction through which IDEALgenerated new features as part of theprocess of strengthening quality. Theseincluded safe learning environments,community involvement in schoolplanning and management, andassessment of learning achievement.As a result, IDEAL’s structure andprocess of education reform creatednew characteristics that allowed theproject’s schools to be classiﬁed aschild-friendly schools.Similarly, the Programme for theAdvancement of Girls’ Education(PAGE) in Zambia did not begin withthe intention of creating child-friendlyschools but with the intent to helpprovide quality education for girlsthat would promote gender parityand empowerment. A multisectoralapproach to dismantling the manybarriers that prevent girls fromaccessing and performing in schoolsevolved. This entailed a variety ofinterventions – developing communitycapacity, providing learning andteaching materials, creating single-sex classrooms in math and science– designed to improve the learningenvironment for girls and resulted inthese schools being classiﬁed as child-friendly.In Egypt, community schools wereinspired by Colombia’s EscuelasNuevas model and predate the CFSframework in UNICEF. Here too theinitial intent was not to create child-friendly schools. Rather, the focuswas on cultivating strong localcommunity engagement in education(a CFS principle) in order to providequality learning opportunities forchildren who did not have access tomainstream schools. Subsequently,these community schools generatedadditional features, such as stimulatingclassroom environments and learnerparticipation, that have brought themcloser to classiﬁcation as child-friendlyschools.Similar efforts to provide qualitylearning opportunities fordisadvantaged populations in Westand Central Africa began in the mid-1990s with integrated approaches tostrengthen community involvement.These reforms predated the launch ofthe CFS model by UNICEF. However,by 2001, 7 of the 24 countries in theregion were engaged in reforms
CHAPTER 2: DYNAMICS OF THEORY IN PRACTICE6measures on improved learning,better all-round development andother outcomes associated withchild-friendly schools. However, lessrigorous evidence, such as viewsexpressed by teachers and parentsand observations linked to the ‘beforeand after’ realities, suggest at least aninitial upsurge in quality of education.It appears that most children thrive aslearners in these new environments,and many teachers who work in themexpress a new sense of professionalpride in what they do as facilitatorsof learning. These impressionisticconclusions need to be quantitativelyevaluated.Despite such positive signs, effortsto mainstream child-friendly schoolsinto national plans and priorities incountries such as Ethiopia and Kenyahave been only partially successful.Even when governments have agreedin principle to adopt child-friendlyschools as a model for improving thequality of education, they have failedto include adequate programmingtools for setting scenarios, makingprojections and costing optionsfor incorporating child-friendlyschools into the education planningprocess. This results from becomingbogged down on a ﬁxed set of CFScharacteristics rather than focusingon key principles that can promote aplanning dialogue around the desiredaspects of child-friendly schools. Sucha dialogue is vital in determiningthe key features of child-friendlyschools for a country and for settingnational standards that can be used asvariables in national education sectorplanning.The lack of a consistent, logicalapproach for incorporating CFSfeatures and standards into educationsector planning has produced patchyresults almost everywhere the attemptto mainstream child-friendly schools inthe education system has been made.In Azerbaijan, for instance, theGovernment has selected some of theprescribed CFS characteristics andrejected others. UNICEF continuesto advocate for the acceptance andfuller implementation of child-friendlyschool characteristics, because todo otherwise would mean that child-friendly schools could become a menuof features from which governmentsselect rather than a model based onkey principles relating to what is in thebest interest of children regarding theirright to quality basic education.A similar challenge exists in othercountries where advocates continueto press governments to accept andimplement the full set of prescribedcharacteristics for child-friendlyschools. Some progress is being madein these countries, resulting in seriousgovernment efforts to implementsome CFS elements in variouscategories of schools. The hope is thatif governments can be persuaded toadopt a CFS policy, this patchwork ofCFS elements will spread to as manyschools as possible. The reality is thateven with powerful advocacy andgovernments’ willingness to adoptsuch a policy, the major challengeof adequate planning tools formainstreaming the CFS model intothe education sector planning processremains.This challenge is most evident in EastAsia and the Paciﬁc. Since UNICEFﬁrst introduced the concept in the late1990s, countries in the region havetaken the lead in demonstrating thebeneﬁts of CFS models and adopting
7CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUALCFS policy. In Thailand, for example,the Child-Friendly School Initiativehelps schools and communitiescreate partnerships to help track andensure children’s school participation,learning and well-being. UNICEF hasprovided technical support to helpthe Government develop standardarchitectural designs based on CFSprinciples that are expected to be usedto construct new schools and renovateexisting ones as part of the drive toimplement a CFS policy in Thailand.These measures will undoubtedlyproduce beneﬁts for quality educationin that country and enhance the use ofCFS models to provide quality basiceducation for children elsewhere.These developments, however, fallshort of systematic mainstreaming ofchild-friendly schools into an educationsystem. There needs to be a moreholistic approach in which speciﬁcCFS principles are used to decide onkey elements and standards for child-friendly schools in a given country andon the extent to which these featureswill be adapted to different parts ofthe country or at different stages ofthe national implementation process.These features and standards can thenbe included in education planningmodels as an integral part of themany variables used in the nationaleducation sector planning process.Two developments in 2007 holdpromise that child-friendly schoolscan be successfully mainstreamed ineducation systems. In China, majoradvancements towards mainstreamingCFS as a model for implementing theGovernment’s policy of nine yearsof compulsory basic education andwhat is termed the ‘whole child’education policy have followed thesuccessful piloting of CFS models byUNICEF in selected schools in someof the country’s most disadvantagedprovinces. The Ministry of Educationhas set up high-level policy andtechnical teams to work on principles,features and standards for child-friendly schools in China, and theresults of their work will be used ina pilot exercise to mainstream child-friendly schools in the educationplanning process of selected provinces.It will then be rolled out to otherprovinces throughout the country.UNICEF is committed to providingguidance and technical support to theGovernment in this important area.The second development with regardto incorporating CFS elements intoeducation sector planning modelsand processes has been at the globallevel. In joint support to countriesdeveloping credible plans for achievingthe education MDGs and the EFAgoals, three United Nations agencies– the United Nations DevelopmentProgramme (UNDP), United NationsEducational, Scientiﬁc and CulturalOrganization (UNESCO) and UNICEF– have decided to modify anexisting education simulation modeland commit to a single educationsimulation model (EPSSim) tosupport education sector planningin developing countries. UNICEF hasworked with UNESCO to incorporateCFS elements into this model, ensuringthat CFS principles are a visible part ofpolicy dialogue and that CFS elementsare considered in scenario-settingduring the planning process. Theexistence of a single model also meansthat CFS standards can be part of theplanning process and that selected CFSelements included in a sector plan canbe properly analysed in terms of costsover the plan period.(See Chapter 7.)
CHAPTER 2: DYNAMICS OF THEORY IN PRACTICE8KEY PRINCIPLESDerived from CRCand interpreted inline with nationalplans and prioritiesto generate majordesired features4132GAP ANALYSISTo reveal areas inwhich schools donot meet CRC-inspired goal forall children to havea quality educationDESIRED FEATURESGenerated fromthe interpretationof key principlesand reviewedagainst realityCFS STANDARDSBased on reviewof desired featuresand the reality ofavailable resourcesand expertise overa given time frame2.3 KEY PRINCIPLES, DESIRED FEATURESAND STANDARDSKey principles based on theConvention on the Rights ofthe Child (CRC) can be used togenerate the desired features, orcharacteristics, of child-friendlyschools in particular settings.These in turn can be reviewedagainst the reality of availableresources over a given timeframe to arrive at a set of feasiblestandards for the design andimplementation of child-friendlyschools in a given country. (SeeDiagram.) This approach makes iteasier to incorporate child-friendlyschools into national planningprocesses and investment plans ina consistent and reliable way.Consideration of the CFS modelbegins with generic key principlesthat are subject to interpretation.It is generally agreed that the CFSconcept as introduced in the 1990swas inspired by the principles ofchild rights as expressed in theCRC. As the ideological foundationof child-friendly schools, the CRCgives rise to the generic or keyprinciples that drive the process ofmaking schools child-friendly.
9CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUALThe application of the CRC toeducation provides us with a rights-based approach, stressing that allchildren have a right to education –they are rights holders. Education isnot a privilege that society grants tochildren; it is a duty that society fulﬁlstowards all children. One of the mostself-evident principles generatedby the rights-based ideology isinclusiveness, which requires schoolsto be open and welcoming to allchildren without exception. Theschool does not just passively receivechildren who seek schooling butactively seeks out all eligible childrenfor enrolment. Beyond enrolment, italso helps children stay in school andattend regularly. This means that fair,transparent and non-discriminatoryrules for accessing school arenecessary but not sufﬁcient. Theremust also be strategies and measuresin place to tackle the barriers thatprevent children from taking theopportunities to participate ineducation.Factors that keep children out ofschool include household poverty,ethnicity or minority status, orphanstatus, gender, remote rural location,need to work and early childhoodillness caused by exposure tounsafe and unhealthy environmentalconditions (such as contaminatedwater and indoor air pollution).Other exclusionary factors can befostered within the school itself.Marginalization by teachers who failto engage students in the learningand teaching process, do not speaktheir language, do not believe theyare capable of learning or do not havethe pedagogic skills to handle thediversity these children bring to theclassroom prevent them from havinga quality learning experience.In some cases, the physical designand infrastructure of a school mayexclude children. The design mayinadvertently obstruct access andparticipation for children withdisabilities, or the lack of separatetoilet facilities may dissuade girls’participation. The way in which aschool is managed or its prevailingambience also may discourage somechildren from participating in theeducation process. When bullyingis part of the school culture, forinstance, or certain populations areroutinely demeaned or stigmatizedby school practices, some pupils willdrop out.A child-friendly school is not justa child-welcoming school but alsoa child-seeking school. It worksto attract and retain children fromdifferent backgrounds, respectsdiversity and ensures non-discrimination. Some innovationsthat have helped make schools moreinclusive are:(a) Local school mapping andcommunity monitoring systemsto help track enrolment andidentify children who are out ofschool;(b) Satellite schools that ensureyounger children in remotecommunities can go to schoolclose to home until they are oldenough to attend existing primaryschools farther away;(c) Community schools that provideeducation opportunities forchildren who do not have accessto the existing standard schools;(d) Mother tongue instruction in theearly grades and multilingual/multicultural education designed
CHAPTER 2: DYNAMICS OF THEORY IN PRACTICE10to ease the transition from hometo school and render educationmore relevant to minoritypopulations;(e) Non-formal educationprogrammes that are equivalentto the formal system but haveﬂexible schedules to cater tothe learning needs of childrenengaged in daily or seasonalincome-generating activities(working children);(f) Special efforts to combatexclusion and stigmatization ofchildren affected by HIV and AIDS;(g) Safe spaces to facilitate children’sright to education in emergencysituations;(h) Promoting birth registration andstrengthening community-basedearly learning opportunities thathelp meet the legal requirementsfor enrolment and better preparechildren from disadvantagedpopulations for schooling (schoolreadiness);(i) Building partnerships througha mix of education and non-education partners who canpromote the principle of inclusion.Efforts to put the CFS principle ofinclusiveness into practice lead toclear observations. First, becausechild-friendly school implementationis an eclectic process, it can beginwith any key CRC principle. Yetimplementation of any one principlequickly generates a chain reaction,leading to other principles andfactors that are important for child-friendly schools. This explainswhy programmes that began byimplementing one key quality issueinvariably generated further concernsthat brought in new principles,leading inexorably towards child-friendly school status. Second,through discussion of inclusivenessit is possible to choose the mostappropriate measure to solve theproblem of a particular situation.Applying different solutions willmean that schools end up withdifferent features, yet they are alladdressing the issue of inclusiveness.The principle of inclusivenesseffectively enables the progressiontowards child-friendly school statusby leading to the implementationof measures that promote accessand retention of children from awide diversity of backgrounds. So,is it enough just to get all children inschool? What if children are enrolledin squalid ‘boot camps’ or rotelearning centres that pass for schools– has their right to education beenfulﬁlled or violated?The rights-based approach stressesthat as rights holders, children shouldhave a say in the form and substanceof their education, as shouldthose who facilitate their rights.This is the principle of democraticparticipation, through which children,parents, communities, employers,political leaders and others have arole in determining the structure,content and process of education.It is only through such democraticparticipation that child-friendlyschools can claim to be fulﬁllingchildren’s right to education. Thisis simply a reafﬁrmation of goodcurriculum design principles,which promote ‘negotiation’of the curriculum by differentstakeholders, including children.However, there are importantcaveats in applying this principle
CHAPTER 2: DYNAMICS OF THEORY IN PRACTICE12is to translate vision, aspiration andexpectation into a viable curriculumthat can be interpreted andimplemented in schools. Part of thisrole involves safeguarding standardsregarding forms of knowledge andwhat constitutes education. Forinstance, witchcraft and magic arenot normally accepted as formsof knowledge for educationalpurposes. Similarly, exclusive useof rote learning and memorizationdoes not count as education.Just as importantly, enforcing aparticular political ideology orreligious viewpoint to the exclusionof other possibilities amounts toindoctrination rather than education.These are matters that must besafeguarded by professionals whowork on curriculum.Discussing a key principle likedemocratic participation brings upissues of the school’s accountabilityto various stakeholders. Thisdiscussion can be a springboard forexamining links between schoolsand their communities on the onehand and links between schoolsand central or local policymakersand administrators on the other.Whatever the starting point, there isalways a sense in which other keyareas of concern will be brought intothe discussion, to be given attentionas part of the process of makingschools child-friendly.Having all children in schooland establishing the democraticparticipation of key stakeholdersin negotiating curriculum content,structure and method wouldrepresent good progress towardsfulﬁlling children’s right to a qualityeducation. However, the participationof the adult stakeholders, many withpowerful voices, could easily drownout the voices of children. This iswhy the CRC, with its rights-basedapproach to education, emphasizesthe importance of safeguardingthe interests of the child by makingsuch interests central to all decision-making in education. This is thechild-centred principle (See 2.4),perhaps the most important principlegenerated from the CRC and itsrights-based ideology. It needs to beapplied with caution, because theissue of what is in the best interestof the child can be contentious. Whodecides what is in the best interest ofthe child? Is it the same as the bestinterest of all children, and if not,which child’s interest should be givenpriority? Does it mean that childrenrule and whatever they want theyshould get?These and other controversiesare part of the discussion of thisprinciple, and it can be argued thateven children themselves may notalways know what is in their bestinterest, especially at a young age.They need to take certain judgementsand decisions on trust from parents,teachers and others who have anobligation as well as the authorityto safeguard their welfare. Even so,it is always important to promotechild participation as one of thefeatures of the child-centred principleand to include children’s viewsin the process of negotiating thecurriculum and other aspects of achild-friendly school. For example,young children can express theirviews through drawing and playinggames relating to CFS components.It is also possible to obtain the viewsof children by engaging them inopen discussion on such issues asdiscipline.
CHAPTER 2: DYNAMICS OF THEORY IN PRACTICE14environment should place childrenat the centre as active agents of theirown learning process, allowing themto develop to their full potential withappropriate guidance and an informedfreedom of choice.For children to develop their fullpotential, schools must providelearning opportunities that helpdevelop children’s abilities to thinkand reason, build up their self-respectand respect for others, and thinkahead and plan their future. Sadly, theenvironment in which many childrendevelop is not always conducive toeven basic learning, let alone skillsacquisition. Too often, it is a harsh,uncaring environment that can bedetrimental to the emotional, socialand physical health and well-being ofthe child.Whether a school or an informallearning space, environment plays asigniﬁcant role in the development ofchildren’s potential. It is in recognitionof the importance of the environmentthat delegates to the World EducationForum, held in Dakar in 2000, pledgedto “create safe, healthy, inclusiveand equitably resourced educationalenvironments conducive to excellencein learning.”The environment for learning is acritical feature of child-friendly schoolTEACHING AND LEARNING: ANUNBREAKABLE BOND“In general, the heart of thematter in education is theinteraction between the studentand the teacher. It is in thisprocess that quality education iscreated.”(Education International,2003) This is the reason the DakarFramework for Action refersspeciﬁcally to the need for “well-trained teachers and active learningtechniques” in order to achievequality learning outcomes. To beeffective, teaching and learningmust include a variety of interactivemethodologies, looking also at thedifferent learning styles of girlsand boys, to create stimulating,participatory and child-friendlylearning environments. This isparticularly true when addressingsuch sensitive issues as HIV andAIDS and reproductive health.The role of teachers is to facilitateparticipatory learning rather thanconduct lectures in a didactic style,and it can only be accomplished iftheir crucial role and status are fullyrecognized, if they are supportedthrough quality pre- and in-service training to reach sustainedtransformation in the classroomand if they are involved at allstages of educational planning –deﬁning policies and programmes,choosing methods and modes ofdelivery and evaluating results.Learningto beLearning tolive togetherLearningto doLearningto know
15CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOLS MANUALmodels. But it is also importantfrom a child-centred perspectiveto consider what children bringto this environment and how thisenvironment should cater to otheraspects of a child’s well-being in orderto support learning. In other words,while excellence in learning throughactive participation is the ultimategoal, consideration of the wholechild and his or her well-being is alsocrucial. Many children start schoolpoorly prepared for learning becausethey have not had appropriate earlychild development (ECD) care andsupport. Also, for children who aremalnourished or infested with wormsor suffering from repeated bouts ofmalaria or other illnesses, learning willbe difﬁcult.The environment in a child-friendlyschool must respond to thesechallenges, many of which can bemet by applying the principle of childcentredness through:Starting with the child. Considereach child holistically and coherently,embracing the particular characteristicsevery child contributes to the richdiversity of the school. Every child’sdevelopmental and learning needsshould be considered throughout thelife cycle, and every child’s ability,health and nutritional status, as wellas any discriminatory pressure theymay be subjected to because oftheir gender, race, ethnicity or otherfactor, should be acknowledged.This approach enables all children toaccess, participate in and proﬁt fullyfrom learning opportunities. Additionalefforts and resources are required toallow child-friendly schools to takesuch a holistic and coherent approachfrom early child development to basicprimary education and beyond, butthey are cost-effective in that theyensure that investments in such areasas teacher training or provision oftextbooks are not undermined by alack of attention to other crucial areasrequired for the child to take advantageof what is offered. Child-friendlyapproaches may appear to cost morein the short term, but they are muchmore efﬁcient investments in the longterm because they provide savings byaddressing problems of low or delayedenrolment, increased absenteeism,repetition and dropout due to suchissues as basic health, nutrition andsafety.Healthy for children. Schools alonecannot guarantee children’s health,but they should not make their healthworse. Unsanitary and unsafe learningenvironments result in injury andillness. Girls abandoning or beingwithdrawn from schools that fail toprovide separate toilets is just oneexample of how environmental factorscan undermine student participationin education. Providing safe waterand appropriate sanitation facilitiesare basic ﬁrst steps in the creationof a healthy, child-friendly learningenvironment. Other importantelements include establishing andenforcing rules to make the learningenvironment free from drugs,alcohol and tobacco, eliminatingexposure to hazardous materials,providing sufﬁcient numbers ofergonomically designed benchesand chairs and adequate lighting,allowing opportunities for physicalexercise and recreation, and ensuringthat ﬁrst-aid equipment is properlymaintained and readily available. Sucha healthy environment provides anappropriate venue for school feedingand other health-related interventionslike deworming, micronutrientsupplementation and malariaprevention.
CHAPTER 2: DYNAMICS OF THEORY IN PRACTICE16Safe for children. The physicallearning environment must be ableto accommodate all children in thecommunity in safe locations withaccess to energy for school electricity,an especially important considerationin rural locations that are off thegrid. The environment needs to bedesigned to meet the basic needs ofchildren. Schools need to provideaccess to clean water for drinking andhand washing and take gender intoaccount by providing separate andprivate restrooms for boys and girlsand, if applicable, secure dormitoryaccommodations. Schools mustidentify and eliminate causes of injuryin school buildings and on schoolgrounds, ensure that emergencyresponse equipment is properlymaintained and readily available,establish emergency procedures andpractise emergency response. Child-friendliness can be further promotedthrough children’s involvement inactivities that make the school cleaner,prettier and more environmentallysustainable, including plantingvegetable gardens, trees or ﬂowers,painting walls or removing debris fromschool grounds.Protective of children. When theschool environment is perceivedas unwelcoming or threatening,attendance suffers. In general, a child-friendly, protective environment isnot only conducive to learning, butalso to play and healthy interaction.Harassment and antisocial behaviourcannot be allowed; abuse, bullyingor sexual exploitation must beconfronted. Child protection andsafety in homes has a direct impacton children’s capacity to attend classand to learn, and children must alsofeel safe as they travel from theirhomes to school. Interventions toaddress these situations includetraining teachers and parents innon-violent discipline, as well asestablishing and enforcing codes ofconduct that protect children fromsexual harassment, abuse, violence,bullying, physical punishment, stigmaand discrimination. Special attentionshould be given to orphans andchildren made vulnerable by HIV andAIDS. In situations with high levels ofviolence, counselling and mediationprogrammes and persons should beidentiﬁed.Work can be richly rewarding forthose charged with the responsibilityof implementing a CFS policy in theeducation system. The main purposeof such work should be not only toincrease the learning effectiveness,efﬁciency and reach of educationsystems but more fundamentally toenable all children to realize theirright to learn. It should also be aboutexpanding the focus of attentionbeyond formal schooling into broaderenvironments and spaces where allsorts of learning takes place, especiallyin times of crisis. Ideally, it is alsoabout making connections betweenthe school, the home and the widerenvironment through a holistic, child-centred approach.But to date, UNICEF and its nationalpartners have not fully utilized thisideal approach. A mixed pictureemerges from efforts to implement andmainstream child-friendly schools. Onthe one hand, there is little doubt thatmany of these efforts have improvedthe quality of education and helpedset new standards for the well-beingof children in schools. On the other,it is also clear that the process andoutcome of implementing CFS modelshave been patchy in most places, farfrom being mainstreamed in educationsystems.
CHAPTER 2: DYNAMICS OF THEORY IN PRACTICE182.5.1 Broad overview of trendsIn a number of countries in Centraland Eastern Europe and theCommonwealth of Independent States,the concept of Global Education hasbeen integrated into the CFS approach,preschool activities have beenemphasized in some programmes,and community-based educationmanagement information systemshave been utilized to locate andreach disadvantaged and excludedchildren. Global Education is alsopromoted in the Middle East andNorth Africa as a means of improvingquality and incorporating key CFSelements such as child rights,children’s participation in democraticprocesses and interactive learning.The community school model pilotedin Egypt and extended to a numberof other countries incorporates allmajor components of child-friendlyschools, with a special emphasis ongender equity, teaching processes andcommunity participation.In India, in the aftermath of the Gujaratearthquake, the CFS concept has beenapplied in emergencies as a frameworkfor the reconstruction and restorationof primary education. In Afghanistan,reopened schools are used to deliver awide range of services, and communitysupport and involvement has beencritical. And in Latin America and theCaribbean, where inclusive qualityeducation for all is a key goal, theCFS framework has been used ina number of countries – Bolivia,Colombia, Guyana, Honduras andNicaragua – sometimes building onor associating with earlier initiativessuch as the Escuelas Nuevas, whichbegan in Colombia and spread to othercountries in the region.The East Asia and the Paciﬁc regionhas been developing and applyingthe CFS framework since it was ﬁrstintroduced in the 1990s, producingvarious manifestations. In Indonesia,for example, training in what thecountry calls Active, Joyful andEffective Learning is a principal activity.In the Philippines, schools are part ofa wider framework of child-friendlyfamilies, communities, provinces andthe country as a whole.In Eastern and Southern Africa,national standards exist to promotechild-friendly and gender-sensitiveschool environments in a numberof countries. And schools that arehealthy, safe and protective are lookedto as means of support for childrenand families affected by HIV and AIDS.In both African regions, child-friendlyand girl-friendly initiatives are clearlylinked. In West Africa, girl-friendlyschool models have been implementedin Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gambia,Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau,Mauritania, Nigeria and Senegal, anda child-friendly/girl-friendly schoolmanual has been developed.2.5.2 Speciﬁc country examplesMalawi: Intersectoral partnershipsfor child-friendly schoolsThe Malawian child-friendly schoolmodel stresses the importance ofintersectoral partnerships. UNICEFand the World Food Programme workin partnership with the Government,2.5 IMPLEMENTATION OF MODELSIN VARIOUS COUNTRIES