The right to education is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed through numerous international conventions and agreements, such as, but not limited to, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Under the Global Campaign for Education's Global Action Week overarching theme: "Making the right to an inclusive, equitable, quality, free public education a reality", the Arab Campaign for Education for All (ACEA) member organizations coordinated events in more than 10 countries around the Arab Region.
In addition, recognizing the importance of ensuring education in emergencies, ACEA trained its members in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq using conflict-sensitive education as a life-saving response and the INEE (Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies) standards. ACEA members are now familiar with INEE standards' key elements and how to apply them. It is both necessary and important to understand the interaction between conflict and each INEE Minimum Standards domain, especially education policy and its interaction with coalitions' work.
In Yemen, progress through community mobilization but dire needs remain
In Yemen, effective coordination and collaboration efforts between the UN Office, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Higher Education, and the Yemeni Coalition for Education for All (YCEA) has led to the provision and access to schools and universities for refugees. Building on these achievements, the Yemeni coalition expanded the scope of its activities in order to involve all concerned people through a huge community mobilization that included parents, teacher unions, civil organizations, political parties, the Ministry of Education, international organizations, and media.
While significant steps have been taken by education stakeholders in the region, many problems still ensue. For example, in Yemen 97% of refugees are from Somalia and other surrounding African countries and there are more than 4 million displaced people in Yemen striving to access their right to education. Education is a critical tool to rebuilding society as a whole and refugees worldwide look forward to returning back to a normal life.
The Yemeni Coalition for Education for All (YCEA) has secured protection of the education process through agreements with the political parties and confronting factions in Yemen since after the war started in March 2014 until now. Furthermore, a strong position paper addressing the education crisis in Yemen was published by YCEA, ACEA, and GCE under the title “Education Needs Immediate and Collaborative Support to Prevent One Whole Generation Missing Out on Education”.