Education is a human right and a public good helping to enable people at all stages in their lives to achieve their maximum potential. This includes the right to learn and right to teach for refugees and migrants in every corner of the world.
June 20th is an important day to recognise the hardships and challenges refugees have been through and celebrate their strength and courage. It is also imperative to continue to advocate that they are treated with dignity and demand the full respect of their human rights by governments, political actors and national institutions.
Educators on all continents have been on the foreground of refugee and migrant issues, as migrants and refugees themselves and as teachers and support personnel working to create welcoming schools and safe environments for all learners.
This year in conjunction with World Refugee Day, Education International and a consortium of 10 partners, launches “Resilient teachers, students and education systems in South Sudan and Uganda” (BRICE), a project funded by the European Commission and led by Oxfam IBIS.
Safe, quality education for all learners
The project, which will be implemented from 2018 to 2022 in South Sudan and Uganda, will contribute to improved access and completion of safe quality education for learners in fragile and crisis-affected environments through the delivery of safe quality education models and continuous in-service professional development, as well as multi-stakeholder dialogue and data collection.
Civil war and violent conflicts in South Sudan have totaled close to 2.2 million refugees. The majority of South Sudanese refugees have fled to Uganda where the current number is close to 1.03 million. An average 2,000 refugees cross to Uganda every day and over 60 percent of the new arrivals are children.
More than 85 percent of the total south Sudanese refugee population are women and children who need education, as well as child protection and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) prevention. In total, there are 1.8 million children out of school in South Sudan. In this project, Education International will lead the global advocacy strategy and coordinate the teacher’s professional development in Uganda.
The rights of refugee children and teachers
More than 1,000 teachers will benefit from professional development support and around 100 politicians and officials will be invited to participate in a dialogue on how to improve conditions and access to education for children and teachers in conflict affected areas.
Over the past few years, Education International and affiliates have been developing numerous activities to fulfill the rights of refugee children and teachers worldwide and facilitate their integration in their host education system.
Capacity building, research, including the compilation study Education: Hope for Newcomers in Europe and advocacy activities co-funded by OSF, have been carried out in nine European countries since 2016.
In Jordan and Lebanon, training activities were implemented with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. A regional workshop was also held in Addis Ababa in September 2017 and several affiliates from African countries have started developing work in this area.
More information on EI’s and affiliates’ initiatives is available here.