If you have the great misfortune of being a child who’s been forced to leave home to flee violence, you are very unlikely to go back to school.
As a refugee it is even more difficult, because you are probably in a settlement or refugee camp in a country that is already struggling to provide basic education to its own children.
If you make it to a temporary school, you may not understand the new language spoken to you by the teacher; you may have to sit on the floor because the classroom is too crowded; and if, despite all of this, you manage to learn and move up in grades, your exam results may not be recognized by your own country once you are able to return.
Refugee children face the hardest road to education
Globally, the picture is bleak for refugee children: they are five times less likely to attend school than other children, with only 40% of refugee children enrolled in primary school and less than 25% enrolled in secondary school. Higher education is almost impossible, with just 1% of refugee children able to progress to that level (data are by UNHCR).
According to UNHCR, in 2017 92% of all refugees were hosted in developing countries, which often face significant education challenges. And the length of forced displacement due to crises and conflict is 20 years on average, longer than a childhood.
Faced with these immense challenges, the Global Partnership for Education works with partners to bridge the gap between humanitarian relief and development assistance in the countries most in need.
We encourage greater attention to the education of refugees and displaced populations when partner countries draft or revise their national education sector plans. And we support countries to strengthen and rebuild education systems during and after crises so that children can continue with their schooling.
Here are three examples of GPE’s action in countries hosting refugee children.