Contemporary conflicts very frequently lead to the displacement of the masses, seen through the prominent “diasporization” of populations throughout the world. While some are forcefully displaced through deliberate displacement tactics employed by armed groups, others are forced to take this decision owing to the destruction of economic, social, and family life, of homes, and of infrastructure, among other things.
While it goes without saying that all people have the right to education, host states have a compulsion of ensuring such provision of education owing to the Article 22 of the 1951 Convention which declares the right to primary education for refugees. However, this is far from being translated into reality, with there being significant distance between the declaration of this right and its practical implementation. Refugee children, for the most part, remain out of school in large numbers, since the barriers to accessing education in conflict situations are proliferated when the factor of displacement is accounted for. But why?
Children who are displaced have to start a new life, with very little means to do so given the economic restraint that fleeing and conflict posit. Therefore, displaced children are the victims of poverty with limited mobility. In settings where these children are able to gain access to schools, the psychological impact of displacement coupled with the ambiguity of what the future holds and economic deficit, leads to low attendance rates. Most importantly, aspects of racism, discrimination, and otherization further heightens feelings of not belonging.
It is crucial hence, for education to take priority in the initial course of action in conflict areas so the psychological toll on children is mitigated, with a long-term plan of action that assumes education to be mobile, and durable.