Published Online:
Published in Print: March 1, 2005, as School in a Box

School in a Box

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

When wide-scale disaster hits a region, reopening schools is among the first priorities of relief officials. That’s often no easy task—following the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia this past December, as many as 1,350 schools were damaged or destroyed.

Enter the United Nations Children’s Fund with School-in-a-Box, which allows teachers to create makeshift classrooms almost anywhere—in tents, in metal shipping containers,even under shade trees. Each of the large metal trunks contains classroom materials for two classes of 40 students, and the box’s lid can be painted to double as a chalkboard.

An early version of UNICEF’s kit was first used in 1994 to teach children in Rwandan refugee camps following that country’s internecine conflict. Since then, they’ve been put to use as part of a massive back-to-school push in post-war Afghanistan; in drought-stricken regions in Africa; and in the Iranian city of Bam, which was leveled by earthquakes in December 2003. More than 23,000 of the kits were distributed worldwide that year alone.

“In the aftermath of a disaster, ... it is imperative to help children rebuild a sense of routine in their daily lives,” said Kari Egge, UNICEF’s Iran representative, following the Bam earthquake. Education “does help children to focus their energies on something other than the terrible conditions they are living in and the horrors that they have already experienced.”

Vol. 16, Issue 05, Pages 36-37

:: Web Resources

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login |  Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Commented

MORE EDUCATION JOBS >>