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A Quest For Education

One of the problems I have with an emphasis that organizations such as UNHCR put on educating refugees is that it creates this impression that these people who have survived conflict zones need to somehow prove that they'll be useful. Or that they need to earn the right to be integrated into society.


This video isn't exactly saying this, in fact, it's a beautiful short clip that sheds light on how education is perceived by refugees. However, it made me think of conversations that I've had in other classes about the how dangerous the neoliberal education system can be. It promotes individualism and creates character like the "girl boss" and you end up hearing stories of how one child was able to create a better lives for themselves through education provided by the host countries.


But there's never any conversation on how the "girl boss" can be exploitive or that just because one refugee was able to netter their lives doesn't mean it's always going to be a possibility. There is a lack of discussion on why people need to flee their homes, the conditions that create hurdles for refugees to actually receive an education. How sometimes the host countries treat their refugee populations poorly. Access to education as a refugee is a problem that needs to be discussed but instead of just looking at the refugee and asking why they were unable to do anything with their education, ask what the macro conditions were that prevented them from moving forward.




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Great post! Refugee education is an incredibly important topic especially in the context of Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Reading your post, two questions come to mind: 1) Does the existence of all-refugee schools solve this problem or make it worse due to the increased isolation? 2) Should teachers teaching in schools with a high refugee population receive special training?

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You have raised such an important point. It takes me back to something sir or somebody else in class also raised about how yes Malala survived the taliban and has become such an amazing role model but what about the other girls on the bus with her? Or the 100s of girls in both Swat and Afghanistan who were forced out of schools or attacked for attending schools under the taliban? The way so many in the international community endorse Malala as a survivor and a beacon of hope for girls’ education but never really address the circumstances that led to her being attacked and due to which 1000s of girls suffer all around the world

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Exactly! Also I think it's important to realize that sometimes even the education given to refugees is the bare minimum, or inherently the kind that disadvantage them in the face of individuals getting traditional and "better quality" education. I have a question - In your opinion, if refugees are in general treated poorly, what factors lead to the success of some refugees and not others? Is it pure luck, or is it genuinely something that can be attributed to a trait that some have or others dont?

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