While you are reading this sentence, one person somewhere in the world will be forcibly displaced from their home. That is one person displaced every two seconds. According to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, the worldwide number of people forced from their homes stood at a staggering 70.8 million (equivalent of the total population of Thailand or the UK) in mid-2019.
Refugee learning crisis
Given that most refugees spend 4 to 5 years in exile, the lost years of learning for children and youth and the consequent disruption in developing their foundational literacy and numeracy skills can significantly derail their future learning opportunities and social integration.
Adult refugees also show a desire for learning. A survey in one of the largest camps in Jordan found that the majority of men and women had a strong interest in attending skills training and that they would enroll in programs if they were available.
The Covid-19 pandemic further complicated their situation. When finding soap is a luxury and social distancing is simply impossible in the crowded camps, schools and learning centers had no choice but to close down.
The longer the marginalized are out of school, the less likely they are to return, leading to more serious issues such as social unrest, child exploitation, teen pregnancy and sexual abuse. Concerns about educational continuity also persist for settled refugees and migrants. For instance, in-class integration courses and education services for refugees and migrants have been suspended in many European host countries.