By Debbie Williams, School of Education, University of Bristol
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an international human rights treaty that encompasses fifty-four articles that advocate the rights of each child (CRC, 1989). The most influential (and contentious) of these children’s rights — in accord to much literature (Freeman, 2009; Lundy et al., 2019; Archard, 2020) — is Article 12 (respect for the views of the child):
‘1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.’ (CRC, 1989, p.5)
This Article somewhat advocates regard for each child’s views and their right to be heard (Archard, 2004). There is no stipulation as to how these views ought to be expressed. Though ‘views’ are implicitly synonymous to ‘voice’ and ‘voice’ is contentious (Alexander, 2010). I implore that we consider ‘children’s voice’ not as a singular but rather a plurality of ‘children’s voices’ to advocate a more inclusive and informed implementation of this instrumental children’s right. (more…)
Blog by Leanne Cameron, School of Education. Originally published by Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)
In April 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, UNESCO estimated that more than 1.5 billion children and youth – nearly 90% of students worldwide – were out of school, disrupting the academic progress and social and emotional development that education provides. For nearly a year now, with schools closed across the world in response to the pandemic, many children and young people have traded classroom desks for kitchen tables.
For many millions, however, the reality of COVID-19 related school closures has been far less comfortable, leaving them unable to continue their education and exposing them to increased risk of exploitation and abuse. For children and young people in crisis-affected, post-crisis, and refugee hosting countries, school closures compound the risks and harm they already face from the effects of the crisis around them. (more…)
Oral language skills are critical for learning, and they matter now more than ever, writes Dr Ioanna Bakopoulou, SoE, University of Bristol
Capabilities such as vocabulary knowledge, narrative skills and active listening are foundational for young children’s learning. Developed both at home and in school, these capabilities are known as oral language. Oral language is essential for young children’s learning, in particularly their literacy development and their ability to access the curriculum.
Oral language skills have always mattered, but they matter now more than ever. (more…)
Blog post by Claire Lee and Lucy Wenham, School of Education, University of Bristol
As school leaders plan the return to school following the global pandemic, it is crucial that their educational decisions are informed by research into the everyday realities of enforced home learning for children. Much research attention until now has focused, importantly, on lost learning and widening inequalities (e.g. Andrew et al., 2020; Green, 2020). (more…)
Blog post as told to Jáfia Câmara, School of Education.
As a refugee and single mother, lockdown in the UK is hard. #HumansofCOVID19
My name is Maria*. I am an asylum-seeker single-mother who escaped to the UK because I felt unsafe in my home country.
My life in the United Kingdom before the pandemic
I arrived in the United Kingdom two years ago. It was hard for me because I am a single mother. I am alone with my two small kids. Initially, the accommodation and support I received as an asylum-seeker were horrible. I had to share a house with strangers who liked to drink alcohol and smoke. It was depressing. It was horrible. My living conditions are better now, but my children and I have faced many new difficult challenges. (more…)
Blog post by Kenneth Gyamerah, Chevening Scholar, Professional teacher, and Global Youth Ambassador for Education.
In March 2020, the government of Ghana announced a countrywide shutdown of schools as a precautionary measure to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. In response, the Ministry of Education (MOE) in collaboration with Ghana Education Service rolled out remote learning interventions to provide education for the students. Data from UNESCO as of 29th May 2020 shows there are 9,696,756 children and youth currently out of school in Ghana due to coronavirus. Of this number, 1,852,028 are in Pre-primary, 4,549,875 are in Primary, 2,851,160 are in Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS) and 443,693 are in the tertiary institutions. In this blog, I will examine the MOE’s education response to COVID-19 in Ghana. (more…)