Education for Emergencies: Concepts and Practices

2 credits / 6 weeks weeks
14 Mar 2016 - 22 Apr 2016

Professor Toh Swee-Hin (S. H. Toh)

This course seeks to clarify theoretical and conceptual frameworks for understanding the role of education in times of emergencies as well as educational strategies and practices essential in helping to prevent and/or overcome such emergencies, including armed conflicts and “natural” disasters.   It is now recognized that although basic needs (e.g. water, food, shelter, physical security) are vital for emergencies-affected peoples and communities, education is likewise crucial. Drawing on exemplars from diverse regions, the course will examine a range of purposes that education can and should fulfill in emergency situations as part of a holistic humanitarian response and the broader challenge of building a culture of peace relevant for refugees, internally displaced peoples, ex-combatants and other vulnerable groups such as women and children to overcome physical and psychosocial trauma and suffering caused by displacement and loss of regular educational provision. Both formal and non-formal educational approaches and contexts, as well as curriculum and   teaching-learning processes will be considered.

Toh Swee-Hin (S. H. Toh)

Professor Emeritus , University of Alberta, Canada Laureate, 

UNESCO Prize for Peace Education (2000)

Dr. Toh Swee-Hin (S. H. Toh) is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Alberta in Canada. Formerly a Distinguished Professor contributing especially to the MA Programs in Peace Education, International Peace Studies and Gender and Peacebuilding, he has also undertaken teaching and research in universities in several universities in the Asia-Pacific, African and Carribean regions. He holds a MEd. (Educational Administration) and a Ph.D. (International/Intercultural Education & Sociology of Education) from the University of Alberta, Canada. Formerly Director of the Centre for International Education & Development (University of Alberta), he was also the founding Director of the Multi-Faith Centre (Griffith University), which was established to promote interfaith dialogue toward a culture of peace. Born in Malaysia, Dr. Toh has been extensively involved in education, research and action for a culture of peace, non-violence, human rights, gender equality, local/global justice, intercultural understanding, sustainability and interfaith dialogue in global South and North contexts. His international networks or consultancies include UNESCO, the International Institute on Peace Education, World Council for Curriculum & Instruction, UNESCO-affiliated Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding, Peace Education Commission- International Peace Research Association, the Parliament of the World’s Religions and Religions for Peace. In 2000, he was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. Email:

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