Many previous projects conducted by CARE have revealed that the learning environment is a pivotal variable for quality education and has an impact on a number of different levels.
The learning environment may refer to the physical learning environment (school buildings, learning facilities, classrooms, etc.) or the psychosocial learning environment (psychological and social factors).
CARE believes in the importance of fostering an encouraging physical as well as psychosocial learning environment.
Physical Learning Environment
The poor conditions of schools, particularly with regard to sanitation and furniture may, at times, act as a deterrent for regular attendance, and may even act as a hazard to students.
CARE Egypt’s Education Program thus works on creating a more attractive learning environment through upgrading and renovating schools’ facilities.
An initial screening of the schools’ conditions is conducted to pinpoint areas where intervention is necessary to protect students from potential hazards and achieve a girl/child friendly environment for the students.
Types of renovation often range between improving the sanitation system, fixing broken windows, regulating electrical circuits, installing staircase rails, or any other type of renovation that is primarily aimed at providing safety and security to the students in target schools.
Moreover, particular focus is given to renovating schools to be “girl-friendly” through creating dedicated spaces for girls and sports or renovating separate sanitation facilities for instance.
As a means to establish sustainability upon the completion of renovation, a maintenance team is formed.
This team is trained, in cooperation with a vocational school in the governorate, on simple maintenance through existing school resources (carpentry, electrical issues, sanitation, and painting).
Moreover, schools’ Boards of Trustees (BoTs) receive a capacity building package on resource mobilization allowing them to provide schools with additional resources for maintaining renovated learning facilities.
FY 2016/2017 Figures
1. 51 schools with upgraded learning physical environment.
2. Built capacity of 11 maintenance teams.
3. Built capacity of 85 BoTs.
Psychosocial Learning Environment
The psychosocial learning environment refers to the psychological and social factors that affect the students’ emotional wellbeing, satisfaction, health and aptitude.
In order to foster an encouraging psychosocial learning environment for students, CARE’s Education Program works on raising awareness of school staff and students on child rights and child protection mechanisms.
In addition, teachers, social workers and school principals in public schools are introduced to positive discipline methods and class management techniques enabling them to deal with different students while upholding child rights and child protection mechanisms.
At the level of creating supportive and sustainable structures, CARE works on activating Child Protection Committees (CPCs) in public schools in line with the governing Ministerial decree.
CPCs play a pivotal role in activating child protection mechanisms in the schools and act as a body through which students can report any cases of abuse.
FY 2016/2017 Figures
1. Child Protection Committees activated in 10 schools.
2. 93 Social workers trained on child rights and child protection mechanisms.
3. 3,835 students participated in camps on child rights and child protection.