Call for Articles for “Enabling Education Review” Special Edition, 2017

03/11/2016

The theme of this special edition will be:

 “Inclusive education and street-connectedness”

 The Enabling Education Network (EENET) is publishing this extra edition of the Enabling Education Review.

The deadline for submitting first drafts of articles is 28 April 2017. Details of suggested topics and how to submit your articles are provided below. Contact info@eenet.org.uk with any questions.

 

  1. Why have we chosen this topic?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Development Goal 4, aim to achieve inclusive and quality education for all, particularly focusing on children from the poorest households who are four times more likely to be out-of-school (SDG UNDP 2015). In order to improve the quality of education systems so that they become more inclusive, it is important to understand in each context which groups of learners are more likely to be excluded from, and what barriers they face to participating and achieving in, education. Street-connected children and youth is one such group that is often facing exclusion from and within formal education. Around the world existing programmes are successfully providing street-connected children and youth with education. Sharing their stories provides an opportunity for similar or new programmes to learn from their experiences. Also, education for street-connected children is often innovative and offers new ideas that could be adapted to support the inclusion of other marginalised learners in challenging situations.

 

  1. What could you write about?

We want to read about your experiences of supporting inclusive education for street-connected children and young people.

Enabling Education Review helps people share and learn from each other’s experiences. We therefore welcome articles that offer practical insights into education programmes, to help others who are looking for ideas that they can adapt and try. We like articles that provide a little background to the project or programme, and then explain how the project/programme is structured, its main objectives, and what activities are carried out, where, when, with or by whom, and why. And we like to read about the results of the too, if possible.

While this special edition focuses on a specific group of learners – children and young people in street situations – this group is not homogenous, offering a wide range of possible topics for articles. Street-connected children and young people face many different challenges, depending on the local context and their gender, age, disability, health status, ethnicity, and so on. The organisations that support them are therefore delivering many different interventions. Some projects focus just on one sector, like education; others are multi-sectoral and support education, health, social welfare and protection needs. Some education projects for street connected children and youth are separate from mainstream education, other initiatives seek to find ways to help these excluded learners return to mainstream education.

Possible topics include:

Types of interventions

  • Non-formal basic education programmes for children and young people living and/or working in street situations and currently unable to attend formal schools
  • Programmes that support children and young people to enrol in or return to mainstream/formal education (e.g. accelerated education or catch-up programmes)
  • Programmes that support mainstream schools and teachers to understand about street-connected children and young people, and then adapt their curricula, materials, timetables, etc, to become supportive of these learners, so that they can enrol in or return to formal education
  • Programmes that support older street-connected youth with catch-up basic education, literacy, numeracy, etc, and vocational and life-skills education
  • Programmes that support specific groups of street-connected children and young people, such as girls or boys, those with disabilities, those affected by drug, alcohol or substance abuse, those affected by HIV and AIDS, those who are from refugee or migrant communities, and so on
  • Programmes that connect various sectors, to support holistically the health, welfare, livelihoods and/or protection needs of street-connected children and youth, as well as their education
  • Programmes that offer educational support for pre-school-age street-connected children
  • Programmes that provide support to street-connected girls with babies so that they can continue their education
  • Advocacy programmes that have sought to change government and/or school policies to enable street-connected learners to access and participate in mainstream and/or non-formal education.

Financing and resourcing

  • Examples of budgeting / fundraising for more inclusive educational responses for children and young people in street situations.
  • Examples of advocating with donors for financial, material or human resource support for making education for children and young people in street situations more inclusive.

Sustainability

  • Examples of interventions that have sought to maintain improvements in inclusivity, or make wider education system changes.

Stakeholders’ views

  • We love to publish articles that feature the views or stories of stakeholders involved in delivering inclusive education, or benefiting from inclusive education. These can be case studies in their own right, or examples and quotations presented within an article on a specific topic.

 

  1. How can you submit an article?

Please email your article to info@eenet.org.uk or send a hard copy to the address at the end of this document.

Length – either 550 words (for a single-page article) or 1,100 words (for a double-page article). We may edit longer articles down to a single page, depending on the quantity and quality of articles received.

Style – please keep the article easy-to-read and non-academic. We encourage the use of sub-headings, bullet lists, etc. Have a look at previous editions of the publication if you are not sure what style to use: www.eenet.org.uk/resources/eenet_newsletter/index.php

Editing – we are very happy to help with editing the article, so don’t worry if you are not an experienced writer. We can work with you to improve the structure and content of your article, make it shorter/longer, etc.

Photos – it is great if you can add photos, drawings or diagrams to your article. When selecting photos, please look for the following:

  • Active images – e.g. children learning in groups, children playing, teachers working with pupils, parents taking actions to support the school, and so on
  • Images that are not too dark, blurred or pixelated.

Please send us high resolution images by email (these should be at least 1mb in size), or post us an original print/drawing. For every image you want to add to your article, you will probably need to remove about 75-100 words of text – but we can help with this editing. Please ensure that the people in any photos have given their permission for the photos to be published, or that parents/guardians have given permission for photos of children to be used. With each photo, please include the name of the photographer/organisation and a brief caption (activity, location, date, etc.).

Deadlines – the first deadline for draft submissions of articles is 28 April 2017. But we welcome submissions as soon as possible so we can spread the editing workload. We will then review all articles and work with the authors to edit them.

Selection – please note that we might not publish all of the articles we receive. In addition to ensuring that we publish articles that are easy-to-read and of practical use to a range of education stakeholders, we will also ensure that the final selection includes:

  • articles from a variety of countries/regions
  • articles about a range of different issues
  • articles by authors from different backgrounds (e.g. teachers, NGOs, parents, academics, government representatives, etc).

 

Articles that are not selected for publication in EER may instead be published on EENET’s website (www.eenet.org.uk).

Queries – if you have any questions, please email info@eenet.org.uk.

Postal address ­– if you want to send an article in hard copy or as an audio recording (e.g. on CD), please send to: EENET, PO Box 422, Hyde, Cheshire, SK14 9DT, UK


Street-connectedness and returning to mainstream education

23/12/2014

Su Corcoran

At EENET we see inclusive education as encompassing the inclusion of many different marginalised groups into education. One group that I actively advocate for is street-connected children. I am currently completing a PhD in education at the University of Manchester, exploring the experiences of transition of children and youth leaving the street in Kenya.

I use the term ‘street-connected children’ rather than ‘street children’. This is because ‘street children’ infers a specific situation that often fails to describe the lived reality of many children or young people found on the street. It is also a term that can stigmatise children by presenting them as being the problem. Street-connectedness better represents the varying levels of engagement with the opportunities and challenges inherent to the street. It also describes the situation of the street rather than defining the child or young person by the street. In so doing it does not lend itself to the traditional stereotypes of street children as either victims or delinquents. Instead, being a street-connected child or young person suggests a continuum of possible interactions with the opportunities and challenges inherent to the street.

Support to leave the street

Community-based organisations working with street children often prioritise assisting the children to leave the street. There are a number of different ways that this is done. Street-based outreach work or drop-in centres are a means of getting to know the children on the street and building trust between them and the teachers and social workers working with them. Some organisations provide rescue centres or interim care centres that are (semi-)residential. The children will stay at these for a number of months to overcome addictions they have developed on the street, to undergo counselling and to complete catch-up education, while the organisation decides if home is the best place for them. Most of them will go home, but in a minority instances (for example when parents are unable to adequately care for their children) extended family or foster parents may be encouraged to get involved. Older youth may be assisted with living independently. (Sarah Thomas de Benitez has written a participatory review of four such street to school projects in different countries, which is included in the EENET resource collection).

Returning to school

One of the important aspects of leaving the street and moving back home is going (back) to school. It can be difficult to start school at a much later age than your peers, or return to school after months or years away, especially when you are much older than your new classmates. Life on the street is very different to sitting in front of the teacher and it can be difficult to adapt to concentrating for a long time or doing everything you are told. On the street, children and youth must look after themselves, and are able to experience a relatively high degree of autonomy and freedom. But when they (re)enter the classroom the lessons are often teacher-led and proscriptive. For a small number of individuals, school was the reason that they went to the street in the first place, for instance due to arguments with teachers, boredom, or because other learning needs were not being met, and they felt they didn’t fit in.

Organisations such as Retrak or Child Rescue Kenya, working to assist children as they move away from the street, often provide intensive catch-up education to help them prepare for going (back) to school. The children I have interviewed in Kenya find such education important for helping them settle in to regular classes. However, this informal education is often more interactive and less structured than the education they will encounter back in school.

The importance of inclusive education for street-connected children returning to school

As advocates of inclusive education we understand that children leaving the street would benefit if the schools they move to use inclusive teaching practices. When teachers treat every child as a unique individual, and try to include all their learning needs into their planning and teaching, everyone benefits. I have read many articles that describe how teachers work on adapting to the needs of one child that is traditionally deemed in need of extra support, but then find that all members of their classroom are positively affected. Therefore, teachers working in areas where many children and youth migrate to the street need to be better prepared to include these children when they return to formal education.

A first step in trying to ensure a successful transition from the informal education provided by the community-based organisation to the mainstream classroom, would be for the teachers at both centres to collaborate and develop a supportive framework within which the transition takes place. The teachers and social workers employed by community-based organisations working with street-connected children and youth should work with regular teachers to help them recognise the issues faced by these children. Together they can develop a more informed plan of delivery for the informal education curriculum that better prepares the children for school, and at the same time change the teaching practices of regular teachers to be more inclusive.

 

Further reading on the education-focused research I have been conducting can be found in the Summer 2014 edition of Childhood Explorer and the Autumn/Winter 2014 edition of BERA’s Research Intelligence

You can also find lots more information about how to develop inclusive teaching practices on EENET’s website.

Su Corcoran is EENET’s Network Coordinator. She also spends time as a volunteer working with street-connected and vulnerable children in urban contexts in East Africa.