Plan International USA’s education programming is based on the knowledge that learning begins at birth, and early formative years play a crucial role in the development of a child.
As children grow, they will flourish if they are able to go to school, stay there until they finish, and learn the basic skills of literacy, mathematics, life skills, and critical thinking in a supportive setting. The integration of education in all of the work that we do -- from water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), to sexual and reproductive health, protection, and economic security -- helps to reinforce the growth of the whole child based on his or her individual needs.
Access and Quality - We foster innovative and inclusive teaching and learning so that marginalized and at-risk children and youth learn in a safe environment. By identifying barriers and addressing the needs of all children, we are helping to improve children’s access to education and encouraging the learning process through the training of teachers and the creation of gender-sensitive learning environments, among other activities. We build the knowledge, skills, and values of young people so they reach their full potential. In addition, we promote inclusive education that is age appropriate so that children who may otherwise be excluded can access educational opportunities: we support alternative non-formal education, strengthen the capacity of communities to implement early learning activities, identify and address obstacles to education, and work to integrate disaster risk reduction planning in the school system.
Governance/Community Support - Continuous holistic education is accomplished by strengthening the capacity of parents and caregivers to support schooling and improving the ability of education systems to be jointly developed by society. With a strong emphasis on school governance, we see strong parental involvement and functioning school systems as crucial for students to develop, learn, and succeed.
In line with the system strengthening approach, we also recognize through our programs that government policies, the implementation of laws, and sound budgets are vital to inclusive education. We work to strengthen the capacity of public authorities to develop education policies and also support our partners as they carry out campaign activities. Education has been a fundamental part of all of our flagship campaigns, including Because I am a Girl, through which we have continuously worked with our partners to promote girls’ education.
Teacher Training - We recognize that in order to facilitate transition and completion of schooling for children, there is the need for a sufficient number of teachers and a relevant curriculum, along with teaching materials and methodologies. Therefore, we provide teacher training, guidelines, and tools that support literacy and inclusive pedagogy. We also strengthen the capacity of civil society networks to advocate for a quality curriculum and teaching methods that promote gender equality and human rights.
Our programs integrate information, technology, and communication; promote leadership and positive behaviors; and support children directly through life skills programming and psychosocial support. Learning in this safe and supportive environment is one in which we’ve played a global leadership role.
Mark Sweikhart, Senior Director - Education and ProtectionMore