04 Nov 2019

LEARNING FOR A FUTURE: EMERGENCIES AND DISPLACED SETTINGS

Expectations of the profession are increasing. Growing regulations and governance, globalisation, and increased use of digital technologies together mean the world is a more complex place for the professional accountant. As a result, careers can look very different from those of the past but skills remain vital to on-going development. At the same time, we are increasingly adopting more flexible career paths. We are moving from the traditional, so-called ‘ladder’ path to a more dynamic path or lattice where we make career choices aligned to our personal growth agendas. Individuals are also taking control of their own development – actively acquiring the new skills to progress rather than waiting for employer-led development opportunities.

The term “education in emergencies” The term “emergency education” is used at an inter-agency level to refer to education in situations where children lack access to their national education systems, due to man-made crises or natural disasters. Its precise interpretation varies, from a concern with emergency education during the first few months after a crisis, to the years taken to restore normal education systems after a “complex humanitarian emergency”.

Sustaining study skills and re-introducing schooling Displaced communities are normally anxious to reintroduce schooling quickly, as soon as food and shelter are provided. They ask their educated members to start classes for the younger children on a voluntary basis. In many cases, people fled without their belongings so that it is difficult for classes to begin without external assistance. A flexible approach is needed so that students who were in upper primary and secondary school or higher education can also maintain and develop their study skills. There are various ways of doing this, such as involving youth in helping with younger children for part of the time and providing interim courses in languages or other subjects to maintain their study skills until they can resume their courses of study. Rapid intervention of this kind is important so that the benefit of past schooling is not lost and time is not wasted. Time is short for many of these young people, especially girls, who often have to leave school at puberty or early marriage, and boys from poor families, who have to work full-time as soon as they are old enough to do so. Trauma can have a negative impact on study skills, as can a long gap in studies. Hence, the restoration of some kind of studies is urgent. Restoration of schooling brings the widely recognized benefits of schooling as such, including its contribution to productivity and economic development. It can contribute to social stability by engaging young people in sustained constructive activity. There are also long-term implications for social cohesion: it is undesirable for one group of the population to be severely under-educated relative to other groups, especially when there is an ethnic dimension. Schooling for girls leads to the lower child and maternal mortality rates and increased female participation in economic and political decision-making.

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