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Certifying IDC Learning: Lessons Learned

This section summarizes what has been learned from efforts to further certification options for internally displaced children. It reviews the relevant cases that have been documented during the last 25 years and covers programs in Eastern Europe, East Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. It extracts feasible options for certification in northern Syria.

Flexibility and Simplicity Must Frame Any Effort

Lessons can be learned on a number of fronts from the system established in northern Cote d’Ivoire during its 2002-2007 conflict in a scenario similar to the present-day situation in northern Syria. In this circum?stance, actors in the north were seen by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire as part of or complacent regarding rebel factions, who were themselves seen as enemies of the state. In these areas, local actors harmonized their efforts, “thinning” out the curriculum to focus primarily on core subjects and compressing the school calendar to fit the resources they had available to them—including time and materials (Chelpi-Den Hamer 2011). Volunteers were brought in to shore up the number of adults in classrooms and to help teachers with their workload, and teaching and examination schedules were adjusted based on space limitations. This “stopgap” measure enabled the children in the north to continue their education and to be later absorbed into the government system again after establishment of peace, thus proving itself as a durable solution. An important lesson to take away from Cote d’Ivoire is the negotiation for and later acceptance of what worked in local communities over a prescribed or singular path across the entire region.

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