The Comprehensive School Safety Framework 2022-2030 for Child Rights and Resilience in the Education Sector – Launch in LAC

The Comprehensive School Safety Framework 2022-2030 for Child Rights and Resilience in the Education Sector – Launch in LAC

RET participated in the “Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF) 2022- 2030” for Child Rights and Resilience in the Education Sector –Webinar- Launch in LAC by answering multiple questions, providing recommendations, and reflecting on the implementation of the new CSSF 2022-2030. The “Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF) 2022- 2030” supports the education sector policy-makers, planners, school administrators, and their partners to promote child rights, sustainability, and resilience in the education sector. The framework provides a comprehensive approach to resilience and safety from all hazards and all risks confronting education and child protection sector populations, systems, and programs. It supports access, quality, and management strategies in the education sector.

In September 2022, the global launch of the Comprehensive School Safety Framework 2022-2030 took place through a webinar organized by the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES). A series of regional and national launch events were planned. On January 19, 2023, the new Comprehensive School Safety Framework 2022-2030 for Child Rights and Resilience in the Education Sector was launched for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through a webinar aimed to: 
(1) Reflect on the progress related to school safety since the creation of the CSSF in 2012 and present the revised CSSF 2022-2030 in the current context. 
(2)Show the impact of government support, the scope of CSSF implementation to date, and the importance of supporting its activities. 

As a member of the LAC Regional Education Group, RET took part in the webinar launch in LAC through its representative Mrs. Maria-Antonia Gonzalez (RET Country Director – Ecuador) to share RET’s experience and expertise working in more than 32 countries worldwide, including nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Belize, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela) by answering several questions, providing recommendations and reflecting on the implementation of the new CSSF 2022-2030. 

You can watch the full webinar by below! 

Why is School Safety Necessary to Transform Education?  
The pandemic and the closure of schools in LAC left around 170 million children out of school in an average of 58 weeks, together with other factors such as the low effectiveness and coverage of virtual education (connectivity barriers, pedagogical limitations, etc.) have caused significant learning losses. A World Bank study in LAC reveals that after the pandemic, around 4 out of 5, students would not be able to adequately understand and interpret a text of moderate length, projecting that “learning poverty” in LAC increased by more than 26.7%, reaching 79% in 2022 (World Bank Document).

The growing threats to the safety of children and adolescents and education due to climate change, the increase in conflicts, migration, and forced displacement, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, posed a challenge to the education systems to effectively generate public policies that can facilitate the transformation of education. This education transformation must guarantee the educational inclusion of all children and adolescents and the safety of the academic community to threats and risks, providing quality education, holistic learning, and the development of competencies and skills for life, leaving no child behind. 

The transformation of education in a post-pandemic context and under the “all hazards, all risks” approach requires recovering teaching and learning impacted negatively by the school closures. On one hand, this can be achieved by prioritizing education, reintegrating drop-outs and ensuring retention, ensuring the well-being of children and adolescents, and finally improving the capacities of teachers to respond to challenges following the standards of Education in Emergencies(EiE), and the Comprehensive School Safety Framework 2022-2030.

 On the other hand, developing comprehensive school safety plans using a participatory approach to protect students, educators, and staff from harm in schools and other learning spaces limit disruptions to learning in the face of shocks, stresses, hazards, and threats of all kinds, and ensuring continuity of education and protection of children, and finally promoting the knowledge and skills of learners to contribute to risk reduction, resilience building, and sustainable development.

What can we do to encourage and facilitate coordinated efforts? 
The socio-ecological model recognizes that children’s well-being depends on the broader and interdependent systems that they are part of: the micro-system of households and families; meso systems of schools and communities; macro-system of social systems, governance and policies, and chronosystems that place us in particular contexts of time and culture, and the linkages between these. This is consistent with a “whole of society” approach to risk reduction, resilience, and environmental sustainability.

How can we encourage the involvement of different educational actors in the region? 
The collective impact approach becomes essential at the “society” level. It recognizes that resolving complex social problems requires multi-stakeholder and multisectoral engagement.
The five necessary components for success are:

  1. A common agenda.
  2. Measurable and SMART data and results.
  3. Mutually reinforcing activities.
  4. Open and continuous communication.
  5. A backbone facilitating organization.

The CSS Framework itself is our common agenda for positive change.
The CSS Targets and Indicators provide shared measurements for data and results. The operational guidance that we developed supports mutually reinforcing activities. 

The CSSF outlines that risk reduction and resilience building require a comprehensive approach that encompasses a “whole of society” and “all-hazards” approach. Research and experience remind us of the tremendous value of children and youth participation in all aspects of planning for the future. This is the most adapted way to identify and sustainably address the barriers that can interfere with children’s equitable access to safe, continuous, and quality education. Education sector duty-bearers face the compounding effects of multiple hazards, including natural and technological threats, climate change, epidemics and pandemics (such as COVID-19), violence, conflict, and everyday threats. These will have permanent impacts on the development of children and societies. These impacts are felt differently due to gender, disability, and social inequalities. We must take action now!

You can download the CSSF manuals in English and Spanish here!

RET Partnership Engagement at Global and Regional levels
Since 2018, RET has been an active member of the “Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction & Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)” a multi-stakeholder platform comprised of UN Agencies, International Non-Governmental Agencies, other leading humanitarian and development organizations, and similar regional alliances, advocating for and supporting child rights, resilience and sustainability in the education sector. RET is working to strengthen coordination, increase knowledge, and advocate for risk reduction education and safety in the education sector, in line with the Sendai Framework for DRR in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and on the three pillars of the Comprehensive School Safety Framework.
RET is also a member of “The Regional Education Group for Latin America and the Caribbean,” established in 2011 within the framework of REDLAC[1] to support the Ministries of Education and the coordination mechanisms for emergency responses in the education sector (including risk management, disasters, and migration.) It also supports actions based on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction (SFDRR), the World Initiative for Safe Schools (WISS), and the Global Education Cluster (GEC), to guarantee the right to education of all boys, girls, adolescents, and young people in the region.
To ensure coherence in terms of coordination in the educational response and the context of the growing dimension of internal and external displacement throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, this group also participates on behalf of the Education Sector in the Coordination Platform Regional Inter-institutional for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V). The group is co-led by UNICEF and Save the Children and is comprised of UNHCR, AECID, CNR, ECHO, IFRC, INEE, OCHA, IOM, UN WOMEN, UNAIDS, PLAN International, RET, UNDRR, UNESCO, and WORLD VISION.

[1] The Regional Group on Risks, Emergencies and Disasters for Latin America and the Caribbean (REDLAC) is a regional coordination platform for disaster preparedness and response, which emerged as a way to stimulate joint understanding and analysis and rapprochement from the regional level at the global level and at the national level.