A Dire Need

by Muhammad Ali

It is because of the continuous human crises due to natural and human-made disasters that the notion of emergency education has increasingly attracted the attention of the academia and international community since the last two decades.

Emergency education takes place in situations where children lack access to their national and community educational system due to occurrence of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, land sliding or of human-made crises such as war or conflicts. The developed countries, with their sophisticated education system, are prepared to face any challenge in an emergency situation. However, in developing countries like Pakistan this concept of education has got the least attention given the fact that Pakistan is still struggling to provide basic education to its population.

Pakistan has been frequently witnessing natural and human made disaster in the recent decade. The destructive earthquake in Azad Kashmir and northern Pakistan in 2005, conflict and military operation in Malakhand and tribal areas in 2009, massive land sliding in Hunza in January 2010 and the recent country-wide gigantic floods have forced hundreds of thousands of people to live in camps as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Among this displaced population, children are considered at high risk of health and educational issues. Besides other sufferings children remain deprived from their basic right of education, during the complex emergency situations. The frequent happenings of disasters demands to think seriously about the importance of the emergency education and make conscious effort to provide education to the thousands of children living in the camps as IDPs.

Emergency education is considered important for various reasons. First, due to the disastrous conditions and being displaced from their home children live in traumatic position. In such situations emergency education is considered helpful to normalize their life and to rehabilitate them.

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Also published by the daily Dawn

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