Amman, 10 October 2017 - Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, children and youth face unprecedented challenges that impact their education, employment opportunities and the cohesion of the societies in which they live. These challenges are aggravated by conflict and political instability.
These are challenges that call for a holistic, lifelong and rights-based approach to education – an approach that equips children and youth to learn, transition from childhood to adulthood, move from school to work settings, and become responsible and active citizens of their communities.
On 10 October, UNICEF and partners launched the Life Skills and Citizenship Education (LSCE) Conceptual and Programmatic Framework, a foundational document of a region-wide effort to provide children and youth with learning opportunities that prepare them to participate in a prosperous future.
The event in Amman brought together more than 200 participants who came from ministries of education and other national education institutions throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In addition, participants included donors, international and national NGOs, the private sector and representatives from country, regional and global organizations. The event focused on the importance of providing children and youth with life skills and citizenship education as part of a holistic learning experience.
Throughout the region, there is a consensus that education systems are failing to deliver the outcomes needed to advance individual, economic and social development, and that the increasing number of education opportunities in the region have yet to translate into economic growth.
To tackle the challenge, the LSCE initiative, led by UNICEF with national, regional and global partners, was founded in 2015. The new Conceptual and Programmatic Framework (CPF) is part of that initiative, and it guides policies, strategies and programmes on life skills and citizenship education. The CPF introduces a systems approach and is set in the context of national education reforms in the region.
The document is the result of two years of consultations, engaging more than 600 stakeholders. It builds on the findings of the Analytical Mapping of Life Skills and Citizenship Education in MENA that takes stock of the major programmes and initiatives related to life skills and citizenship education in the region.
The CPF addresses a gap in the understanding of the concept of life skills learning and citizenship education. It identifies a set of 12 core life skills for MENA using a four-dimensional learning model: Learning to Know, the Cognitive Dimension; Learning to Do, the Instrumental Dimension; Learning to Be, the Individual Dimension; and Learning to Live Together, the Social Dimension. The CPF constitutes also a roadmap for the mobilization of a large network of partners through multiple pathways and modalities in education, in the social sphere, in the workplace and on the road to the workplace, with a view of reaching all children and youth and creating an enabling environment for better learning.