Nicaragua: Safer and resilient schools after Hurricane Julia
July 24, 2023 by Gema Espinoza, UNICEF Nicaragua |
3 minutes read

The ministry of education and UNICEF, with the support of GPE, are reactivating learning spaces to ensure at least 150 students in preschool and multigrade primary schools can continue to learn.

This blog was previously published on UNICEF's website.

Jose is an 8-year-old child, who walks for an hour every day to reach his school located in a community in the Southern Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. His school is a small wooden infrastructure, which suffered damage from the impact of Hurricane Julia in October 2022.

Jose and 10 other students receive lessons under a multigrade modality. Multigrade is the typical form of education in remote and scattered communities to offer educational services for children who are at different knowledge and learning levels. They all form a diverse group, taught by one teacher.

Jose's school is one of the 6 educational centers located in the departments of Boaco and the South Caribbean Autonomous Region of Nicaragua that are part of the project: Reactivation of preschool and primary multigrade learning spaces in rural areas affected by Hurricane Julia.

The goal of the project is to ensure the educational continuity of at least 150 students in the preschool and multigrade primary levels.

In this project, community participation has been a key factor. The Ministry of Education and UNICEF, representing the Global Partnership for Education, visited the communities to engage in a dialogue process with community leaders, teachers, mothers, fathers, and students.

"I think it has been important to have these meetings because we have been able to express our opinion and have the project adjusted to our needs. For example, here in our community, we have decided to change the location of the school, as it will be closer to a safe water source and the community houses," said Jamileth Paz, a mother.


In addition to building or reconstructing schools according to national standards, the project will ensure school furniture is adapted to the specific needs of existing educational modalities. It will also strengthen the emotional resilience capacities of the educational community, with emphasis on girls, boys, and adolescents, in the face of impacts caused by climate change.

"In addition to supporting us with infrastructure, it seems important to me that the project will also provide us with materials and training to help us be better prepared for emergencies, as we are located in a very vulnerable area. This benefits not only the students but also the community," said Jose Obando Mejía, director of Nueva Ruben Dario School in Nueva Guinea.

The project also aligns with the Ministry of Education's strategy to promote changes towards a culture of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and response to multi-threat situations among the population through a training process at all levels.

This includes promoting schools as safe spaces for children and adolescents, taking care of and self-care within the entire educational community, and ensuring the continuity of learning processes even in emergency contexts.

The project is implemented by the Ministry of Education (MINED), financed by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) with a funding amount of US$1,000,000, and supported by UNICEF as the implementing agency for GPE funds. The project has a duration of one year.


This blog is also available in Spanish.

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