School children in Suriname
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Social and Emotional Learning

The problem

Schools usually focus only on academic or technical skills and miss the support for social and emotional development. Social and emotional development is a very important area of focus and by having attention for the whole child, problems can be prevented. Psychosocial problems among children and youth are common and can cause school drop-out, communication problems, criminality, or even radicalization. In refugee situations, children are even more in need of developing resilience. Children need to deal with the situations of adversity, violence and loss, and they need to gain skills to build peaceful societies.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a preventive approach that focusses on the development of social and emotional skills; the development of the whole person. SEL is often called the missing piece in education. It does not only aid the individual development and prevents problematic behaviour, it helps building a positive commu nity. It helps build resilience and equips teachers with the competencies to create a safe learning space. SEL is necessary in every learning environment, but even more so in education in emergencies. Our goal can be defined as: the development of an on- going program, targeting different age groups over all school years and connected to the different development stages, needs and experiences of communities and local contexts. We aim to develop a continuous SEL program that targets children throughout all school years. The SEL program of Edukans builds on the five competencies described by CASEL: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. These competencies mean something else in every developmental stage and the lessons will be aligned with the general social and emotional development of children in different phases. This fits within Edukans’ vision of life-long learning and quality education, in which Edukans takes a whole-child, whole-school approach.