The Purposes of Refugee Education: Moving Out of the Box

The Purposes of Refugee Education: Moving Out of the Box

By Sarah Dryden-Peterson, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Over the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s fifteen years of research on refugee education, the dilemma that is the focus of this week’s webinar is the one we hear most about from refugee parents and children. “Approaching the immediate crisis with a long-term perspective” encapsulates a resonant tension in the experiences of refugee families and the design of policies and programs: despite the clear desire for conflict to cease and for return “home” to be possible, most refugee children will spend more than two decades in exile. That’s their one shot at education. How do we address this tension? Our work points to ways in which this question is, at core, a question about the purposes of education.

UK Parliament highlights the Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative

UK Parliament highlights the Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative

by Emma Wagner, Education in Emergencies Policy & Advocacy Adviser, Save the Children

Despite ever turbulent political times in the UK - including recent changes within the top team at the Department for International Development – parliamentary business continues as usual. The global education sector in the UK has been long awaiting the International Development Committee’s (IDC) report on DFID’s work on education: Leaving no one behind?

The IDC is an influential committee of cross-party MPs in the UK Parliament and over the past year, the Committee has conducted an extensive inquiry into the work of DFID in delivering quality education to the poorest and most marginalised children in the world.  Their report puts forward an ambitious plan for how the UK could help close the global education financing gap, and continue to increase access to and quality of education, especially for those who are most marginalised, including refugees. 

Join 3 webinars to explore Promising Practices in Refugee Education

The  Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative identified ten recommendations, grouped under three overarching pillars, aimed at improving refugee education policy and practice. Join representatives from the case studies in 3 upcoming webinars as we explore the themes and recommendations in depth.

Webinar 1: Approaching the immediate crisis with a long-term perspective Thursday 30th November, 16:00-17:00 GMT

With speakers from iACT, Save the Children, Vodafone Foundation and UNRWA.

Webinar 2: Understanding different contexts and meeting distinct needs Tuesday 5th December, 14:00-15:00 GMT

With speakers from Windle Trust Kenya, Relief International and Save the Children.  

Webinar 3: Improving outcomes for all Thursday 7th December, 16:00-17:00 GMT

With speakers from Libraries Without Borders, International Rescue Committee & Global TIES for Children at New York University, Teachers for Teachers and Save the Children.

A Socio-Technical Approach to Refugee Education

A Socio-Technical Approach to Refugee Education

By Negin Dahya, Assistant Professor, University of Washington Information School

Innovation in refugee education includes developments that are both social and technological. These include online teaching and learning practices, digital gameplay for tablets and phones, tools to monitor and evaluate education systems, open educational resources (OERs), and more. As well, new ways of using existing technology can be considered innovative, particularly when they impact how a society is structured. In this post, I outline the current landscape of ICT and education in conflict and crisis. I then present one example of how an existing, multipurpose, and social technology – the mobile phone – can connect and map networks to support education in refugee camps.

Learning from Promising Practices in Refugee Education

Learning from Promising Practices in Refugee Education

By Emma Wagner, Education in Emergencies Policy & Advocacy Adviser, Save the Children. First published by UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report

Earlier this year Save the Children, Pearson and UNHCR formed a new groundbreaking partnership to tackle the refugee education crisis. The Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative sets out to identify, document and promote innovative ways to effectively provide quality education to refugee children and young people.

The key findings and lessons learned from the case studies were synthesised in this report and launched at the UN General Assembly. The programmes and the experiences of implementing partners were used to identify ten recommendations grouped under three overarching pillars, aimed at improving refugee education policy and practice.

Three of these recommendations are highlighted in this blog.

 

 

Refugee Education Recommendation: Adopt user-centered design and empowering approaches

Refugee Education Recommendation: Adopt user-centered design and empowering approaches

Blog post by Sara-Christine Dallain MPH, Director of Programs, iACT. First featured on iACT's website

When working in refugee education, it’s important to remember that each refugee child arrives with unique experiences and needs, all of which require distinct responses. However, as the Promising Practcies in Refugee education initiative stated in their Synthesis Report, the rush by the international community to provide services to refugee beneficiaries—especially in emergencies—combined with a perceived lack of expertise at the local level, means that the actual participation of beneficiaries in education solutions is not realized or carried out in a meaningful way, leaving the unique needs of young children and their community unaddressed.

Teachers in Crisis Contexts Working Group:  Strengthening teacher professional development through collaboration

Teachers in Crisis Contexts Working Group: Strengthening teacher professional development through collaboration

Blog post by Mary Mendenhall, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Practice at Teachers College, Columbia University

As we work to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of our humanitarian responses by improving coordination, reducing duplication, and trying to mitigate the competitive environment in which we work, the Teachers in Crisis Contexts (TiCC) Working Group provides a notable example within the field of Education in Emergencies. The TiCC began over three years ago when a small group of individuals from different organizations came together to respond to the needs of refugees and other displaced persons teaching in crisis-affected contexts...

Promising Practices Case Studies & Report Launch @UNGA2017

Promising Practices Case Studies & Report Launch @UNGA2017

Registration now open for Promising Practices launch event at UNGA in New York

Friday 22nd September, 9:30-13:00

Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Pearson, UNHCR and Save the Children are delighted to be hosting the launch of 18 case studies and a synthesis report from the Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative.

During this half-day conference, promising practices that have been documented as part of the initiative will hold interactive demonstrations of their work, a panel will discuss learnings and recommendations, and there will be key note speakers and networking opportunities.  

Organisations that have been selected for their promising practices include: Caritas Switzerland, Children on the Edge, i-ACT, International Rescue Committee, Libraries Without Borders, Mercy Corps, Norwegian Refugee Council, Relief International, RET International, Save the Children, Teachers College Columbia, UNRWA, Vodafone Foundation, War Child UK, Windle Trust Kenya, World University Service of Canada and We Love Reading.

Please register your attendance here.

Teachers for Teachers: Hope for refugee children

Teachers for Teachers: Hope for refugee children

Blog post by Mading Peter Angong. Mading is a teacher from Shambe Primary School, Kakuma Refugee Camp and a beneficiary of Teachers for Teachers Training, Mobile Mentoring and Peer Coaching initiative.

Education is the only tool that gives back the lost dignity to refugee children. The thirst for education among the multinational refugee children in Kakuma Refugee Camp is insatiable. Effective education is only achieved through effective teachers, for great teachers create great students. In fact, an inspired and informed teacher is the most important factor influencing student achievements.  Nowhere in the world are such teachers needed more than in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Turkana County, north-eastern Kenya.

Falling through the cracks: Young children in emergencies

Falling through the cracks: Young children in emergencies

Blog post by Sweta ShahSenior Early Childhood Development and Education professional, Bernard van Leer Foundation

It was a bright morning in Ayillo 2 camp in Uganda.  South Sudanese refugee children between 3-5 years were standing in a circle starting their daily routines in a Plan International supported space.  The day started with the morning circle where children came for a half day of play based learning activities. Halima and two other South Sudanese refugee caregivers led the children in songs and games about health, hygiene and topics that promoted literacy and numeracy.  Next came the game “news news”.  A little boy went to the centre of the circle to announce the day’s news.  Everyone clapped to applaud his efforts.

Refugee teachers - don’t just train, retain.

Refugee teachers - don’t just train, retain.

Blog post by Ruth Naylor, Senior International Consultant, Education Development Trust

The global population of those displaced by war and persecution is the biggest it has ever been, and similar in size to the population of the UK. For millions of refugee children, education can provide safety and hope for a better future, but the chronic shortage of trained teachers prevents many of them from getting the quality education they deserve. In many of the contexts where UNHCR works, including situations in Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Uganda, Chad, the situation is getting worse, with teacher training and recruitment unable to keep up with the influx of new refugees. These situations saw a decrease in the percentage of qualified teachers in 2015 (see here).

Aiming higher: Prioritizing higher education within the global movement for refugee education

Aiming higher: Prioritizing higher education within the global movement for refugee education

Blog post by Allison Anderson, SIPA Columbia University, USA and Maia Bix, The Malala Fund

The global movement for refugee education is gaining momentum. Spurred in part by the Syrian crisis, prominent actors from Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai to United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown are centering refugee education within the broader movements for universal primary and secondary education and comprehensive emergency response. Almost entirely missing from the conversation, however, is a call and associated actions to support higher education in crisis contexts.

Notification of project selection for case study development

Notification of project selection for case study development

We are hugely grateful for all the submissions we have received over the past two months for the Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative.

We have had so many submissions that it taking us longer than planned to review them all and therefore projects will now be informed about the outcome and next steps by Friday 19th May. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Webinars for organisations whose submissions are being taken forward for case study development will take place at varying times the week after.   

If you need any further information please contact the Promising Practices team

Watch: Supporting Refugee Children in Education - RSA

Watch: Supporting Refugee Children in Education - RSA

Last week Save the Children co-hosted an excellent event at the RSA, London on supporting refugee children in education. The speakers covered the educational challenges faced by refugees, as well as the varied and innovative solutions which are being used by local communities, NGOS and governments to ensure greater access to quality education for refugee children in different contexts. 

Educating refugees: Old ways of working aren’t good enough.

Educating refugees: Old ways of working aren’t good enough.

The plight of refugees is in the news every day, and not a moment too soon. Refugee children and adolescents suffer from having almost all of their rights taken from them at one point or another, if not all at the same time. Addressing their needs requires new thinking, and fast.

Latest coverage of the Promising Practices initiative

Latest coverage of the Promising Practices initiative

The Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative aims to shine a light on great work that often goes unnoticed by those working to give every refugee child an education. We have been promoting the initiative widely and it has been covered by a number of online outlets. 

UNHCR, Save the Children and Pearson join forces to tackle refugee education crisis

UNHCR, Save the Children and Pearson join forces to tackle refugee education crisis

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, Save the Children, the global children’s charity, and Pearson, the world’s largest education company, have joined forces to identify innovative projects that are helping refugee children to learn. The ‘Promising Practices’ initiative will not only raise awareness of existing efforts, but is also calling for organisations working in the field, businesses, government and individuals to submit ideas that are providing education solutions for improving access to, and the quality of, refugee education.