March 28, 2018
Written by Paul Frisoli, Associate Director, Education in Conflict and Crisis, FHI 360 and Anne Smiley, Technical Advisor, Research in Education, FHI 360
This blog was originally posted by FHI 360.
In education in conflict and crisis (EiCC) situations, community members often take on new roles to provide essential education and psychosocial support services to children. This is especially true for female teachers, who are expected to provide academic and nurturing care to their students while also caring for their families and coping with their own social, emotional and material needs. This is a tall order, and female teachers do not receive the support they need to be as effective — and engaged — as possible.
A forthcoming FHI 360 literature review that is part of a larger study on female teachers in Nigeria, expected to be released later this year, highlights the crucial role that female teachers play in EiCC contexts, especially in promoting girls’ education. We found that most EiCC literature talks about female teachers as a means to an end, that is, more female teachers correlate with improved education outcomes for girls, higher enrollment and retention rates for female students, safer school environments and increased exposure to female role models and professional trajectories. What is needed is more discussion of female teachers’ holistic needs — for their identities, motivation and well-being — and how best to address them.