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School in a box

School in a box is an initiative by UNICEF. In the aftermath of a disaster, the major goal of the School-in-a-Box is to facilitate the resumption of regular educational activities. The contents of the "School in a Box" provide the essentials for any educational setting. Books and other instructional materials based on a curriculum relevant to the child's future education should be provided as training and assistance for teachers.

The following are the items in the box:

- Metal box with padlock

- Blackboard paint and brush

- Posters, plasticized paper, set of three, double-sided

- Tape Measure

- Wooden Cubes

- Clock

- Scissors

- Slates and slate pencils

- Exercise Books, cyan blue covers branded with the UNICEF logo


While looking at this, it's interesting to note that most of these things aren't even available to most kids in Pakistan in non-conflict zones. So conflict zones in third-world countries are even worse off. Even though this is the standard response from UNICEF in emergency areas, it should also be noted that most kids in third-world conflict areas would not even know how to use most of the resources in the box. Intersectionality plays a considerable part when considering resources given to conflict-impacted kids.


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7 Comments


That is an interesting post!

while the initiative does sound great, as you mentioned, the availability of these things in many conflict zones is a huge hindrance to its assistance. and I think a prevalent issue in the policy-making or initiative-taking process is that the feasibility of the policy/initiative is not considered. what might look good and helpful in one context might not be applicable in another. therefore, the stakeholders must introduce new tools and policies and also ensure it helps those who need them.

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Maha Waheed
Maha Waheed
Dec 10, 2022

It’s a very great initiative, and as mentioned in your post that most of the kids in the third world conflict would not even know how to use these things; I would like to share a personal anecdote “ I visited children's hospital Lahore few times with a group of people, and we would play and spend some time with the cancer patients, so we had these coloring books, and there was this one Afghan girl, so we gave her a colouring book and color pencils, but she did not have any idea on how to use them” so including things like these in a box how feasible it is for the kids to use them

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I think this is an interesting use of creativity but it lacks the feasibility to actually be implemented. Are paints, posters and scissors the items that should be at the top of the list for a "School in a Box" that is intended to be used post conflict? When regulating measures or policies for conflict-ridden areas, I think it is important to keep the victims of that conflict in mind and target their specific needs. And keeping education in mind, there is not a lot in this box that directly impacts receiving knowledge. However, it is an effective way of distracting the students with creative activities that will engage their minds.

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Very interesting and an unusual initiative.

Whilst this is a valuable and thoughtful contribution, it needs to be considered that there are several steps that come before the usage of such technical materials. Prior to engaging in the processes that require this kind of stationary, there is a lot of basic learning required and even before that, an environment which makes you feel safe learning in. This is an apt example of how priorities even in terms of something as universal as education, vary across contexts and cultures.


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I agree with the comments above. The post is very interesting, but I have some things to add. While this box is great as an initiative, I believe it is not a substitute to a proper education that these kids need and deserve. Sure, these notebooks will come in handy, but they do not make up for the missing education months/ years etc. that children miss out on due to conflict arising. I also think that this is not a sustainable effort. I would argue that putting policies in place is a much better approach which international mediation can truly help when it comes to calling a truce between conflicting parties.Secondly, these resources should be invested in rebuilding instututions that…

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