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From Schools to Refugee Camps

Globally, refugees make up an increasing share of those who have been forcibly displaced, and their demands for relief and development have never been greater. Over 80 million people will have been forcibly displaced by the end of 2020, including 10 million children worldwide. Since they have the fewest resources available, low- and middle-income countries are frequently tasked with sheltering refugees. Only two high-income nations (Germany and Chile) were among the top 15 countries hosting refugees globally in 2019. Five of the 13 remaining nations had low incomes, while eight had intermediate incomes. By the middle of 2020, only five nations were housing 39% of refugees who had been displaced abroad: Germany, Uganda, Pakistan, Colombia, Turkey, and Colombia.

With most of these countries often struggling with the education of their own citizens, education is often not a priority intervention in refugee response. For instance, only 2,407 (3.4%) of the 69,000 recorded interventions for Venezuelan refugees throughout the region of Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020 were connected to education. In keeping with this, 2.6% of humanitarian aid funds were allocated to education in 2019, which is far less than the 4% global aim and the 10% EU target.

When it has been offered, refugee education has typically been supplied in conjunction with other relief and assistance efforts by the humanitarian sector, which operates in tandem with national education systems. Children and youth from host countries go to schools that are a part of their national education system, but refugee students spend most of their time participating in educational activities, including those that take place in camps and may not always be connected to national curricula or accreditation frameworks.

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When nations commit to a plan for integrating refugee children into their national education system, the international community must do more than just provide cash. Too often, a lack of cooperation among international bodies drives national governments in opposite directions. In the early stages of a humanitarian response, more refugee host nations would benefit from sharing expertise and technological know-how. The global education community may also better support those countries by making available existing knowledge and research on refugee education more accessible and practical, with a focus on what works at the policy and practice levels.

Inclusion of refugees in national education systems requires strong political will on the part of governments, which must be matched by ongoing assistance from…


Your post provides a fascinating insight into the harrowing statistical reality that governs the experience of refugees within host countries in regards to education. You have subtly brought attention to a grander dilemma that questions the very performative nature of the education that is provided to refugees within camps. The statistics that you quote also point towards a political reality where the host country's intent of providing education is to merely check a box of a list. It is not assimilation or rehabilitation that they seek for this new demographic within the population. Grander political gains then seem to govern this 'humanitarian' gesture. In many ways, then do you believe that this providing of asylum under the banner of 'refugees'…


Great post! I think one issue at hand is the proper transition from refugee camps to schools and to aid that transition we need to have a better system of education in the camps, we could this by providing different levels of education in camps and also have a refugee entry level course where children from refugee camps are first taught more so they can survive in the current school systems, this will help with integration and also bring a sense of comfort to these children as they will not be blindsided.


While your post is interesting, I do feel that the accuracy of the portion regarding refugee education in tandem with national curriculum can be questioned. Of course, it could be that I am misinformed or am getting my logic wrong, but I feel as if, in doing so, we have stopped to consider the camps that are not within countries, but on the borders where there is no real association to any state.

I also feel that there is a big misconception that a camp can foster a sense of community whereby people will step up to educate the children.

We have also studied that children in conflict ridden states should be given an education that entails safety measures, so…


Great post! I feel like the current process of hosting refugees needs to change on two levels in regards to improving the access to education to the refugees. Firstly, when refugees come to a country, there needs to be clarity whether they are going to be living in that country permanently, or are they being hosted temporarily. This is extremely important because the lack of clarity of this particular matter has led to a lot of refugees around the globe living in a limbo in refugee caps where they do not know whether they will ever be granted permanent citizenship or would be made to move out. Depending on the temporary or permanent nature of their stay, policies to facilitate…

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