The e-Forum took place from October 3-14, 2016, and was jointly organized by UNESCO IIEP, UNHCR, GPE and PEIC.
A word about IIEP’s engagement. Since our founding in 1963 as an autonomous UNESCO Institute, the International Institute for Education Planning mandate is to develop the capacity of UNESCO MS to plan and manage their ed systems. We have been active in EiE for 20 years. More recently out approach has been through crisis-sensitive planning which involves identifying vulnerabilities, and preventing, mitigating and preparing through the planning process. We do this through : Programs of training Technical cooperation Policy research and knowledge sharing
In 2015, 65.3 million people were forcibly displaced. This is the highest number of displaced persons globally since the end of the Second World War. Over a half of these 65.3 million displaced people are children. 1 in 45 children in the world are forcibly displaced. Because of their precarious situations many of these children and youth are unable to access quality education or have fallen behind in their scholastic progression. As the infographic shows, only 1 out of 2 refugee children access primary education and 1 out of 4 attend secondary. The picture for tertiary is even worse: 1 out of 100 have access to university-level ed. Furthermore, on average, refugee children miss 3-4 years of schooling as a result of displacement.
So how can this situation be improved? As a planning institute that serves MoEs, we are receiving more and more requests to help countries plan for refugee influxes. This is a relatively new topic for both IIEP and the international community, so we decided to put our heads together with our partners and organize an for the e-forum to gather information from countries about their needs and where possible, strategies that have been used to plan education for refugees. This e-forum took place last autumn and was organized jointly with UNHCR, PEIC and GPE. Our intention was to better understand how governments and their partners can better plan for the provision of quality education for displaced populations.
As I mentioned, this e-Forum was designed to provide a space to discuss challenges and strategies for planning education for displaced populations. The main objective was to generate interactive discussions about education planning of displaced people between different actors through a process including exchanges about :
Existing experiences in planning for refugee and IDP education, including by governments (national and/or sub-national education and other authorities) and their development and humanitarian partners. Challenges in planning and managing access to quality education for displaced populations. Strategies to overcome these challenges. Gaps for further study.
With over 450 participants from 86 different countries including state and non state actors, this E-Forum provided a unique opportunity to meet a large panel of actors with various professional and geographic backgrounds working in the field of education.
The discussions were structured around the themes of access, quality and management of education
Within the subtopic of access, participants reflected on issues related to legal frameworks, institutional arrangements, and coordination
We discussed both international legal frameworks on education for displaced populations(including international conventions and declarations) and national legal frameworks which stipulate how the provisions of international conventions will be implemented by state and local authorities. Participants also discussed the importance of making institutional arrangements in order to allocate responsibilities to different government bodies and ensure coordination amongst them. Clarifying specific education responsibilities facilitates policy implementation and thus, helps ensure access to education for displaced populations. Finally, coordination between government bodies and among the government and its international and national partners can help ensure that resources are used in an efficient and equitable manner.
Some of the main barriers and strategy underlined by the participants during the first part of the E-forum are presented on this slide, but Martha Hewison from UNHCR will go into more detail on access issues during her presentation
Legal frameworks barriers and strategies:
Lack of policy and documentation (age, education level, transfer certificates, proof of displacement, residency requirements) for education offices to follow in terms of integrating IDPs and refugees into the system in the hosting educational area. Example of strategy used: development of a plan focused on incorporating the education needs of refugees, supplemented by an EGIS system to help reduce the overload on services in high density areas (Egypt). Or official letters from the governors and education offices with instructions to education offices at district and school levels to accept displaced students even without the presence of official documents (Yemen) Lack of certification of previous schooling and students who are behind in their scholastic progression due to displacement explored strategies : Placement tests to determine grade level (Morocco, Yemen). Introduce a ‘catch up’ course (In Jordan, a course for 25,000 students ages 8 to 12) Host Community reluctance and general difficulties in the integration of refugee students (due to cultural barriers). Example of strategy: Implementation of the “school voucher” approach for IDP and vulnerable out-of-school host community children. It was in the form of conditional cash-assistance based on community based school improvement plans (DRC) Lack of space and fees was also mentioned as problematic, example of strategy: Authorising H/teachers of government schools not to request the parents of displaced children to pay cost sharing for their children (South Sudan)
Lack of accountability (situations where actors think that the responsibility of education for refugees lies with others) , explored strategies: Coordinating at all levels (school- to national level) to identify systemic education needs of displaced populations (Rwanda, Yemen, Pakistan). Having strong school governing bodies with representation from government and local community groups able to implement constitutional articles, particularly in regards to coordinating the protection of school environments (Yemen). Maintaining communication and information sharing among the plethora of partners involved in providing education for displaced populations. Explored strategies: Developing coordination manuals with descriptions of roles and responsibilities of all partners and coordination bodies (South Sudan). Holding regular meetings and establishing thematic working groups to address specific issues (gender, construction of learning spaces, etc.) (South Sudan).
Ensuring access to education is not sufficient, the quality of education for refugees is paramount and difficult to provide for IDPs always in movement. This is why the e-Forum focused on two key issues related to quality: Curriculum : which one should be chosen and will be the most relevant for refugees ? Teaching force : how to use them efficiently ?
Some of the key issues that emerged during the forum are presented here, but Margaret will speak a bit more on quality issues later on.
About curriculum : The two systems has been experimented in Tanzania by using both home and asylum curricula at different periods. The situation in Tanzania is an interesting illustration of the pros and cons of different curriculum choices. The 1972 Burundian refugees studied the Tanzanian curriculum and were well-integrated in the host country system, whereas the 1994 Burundian refugees studied their home country curricula. When the Burundian refugees from both periods repatriated in 2009, however, it was reported that reintegration was easier for the Burundian refugees who had studied their home country curriculum while in Tanzania (because they had studied in French and because their learning was certified and recognized by the Burundian government). In contrast, reintegration was more difficult for the 1972 refugees because their certificates were not recognized and because they spoke English or Kiswahili. About teaching force: Integration of teachers depends on a lot of factors (expected length of displacement, capacity of host community, availability of funds, choice of curriculum, language of instruction, current national policies, attitude of local communities) and is a push and pull process. In discussing ways to support teachers through training courses run by either MoEs or NGOs, participants touched on the challenges of: Recognizing previously certified teachers from the refugee population; Recognizing additional training/certification by the country of origin and/or asylum.
Forced displacement movements are irregular and hard to predict, but ministries of education require reliable and comprehensive data to plan and manage their education systems and funding to provide education for these population . In the discussion on management, we focused on data and m&e, and cost and financing.
Wenna Price will speak more to some of these issues but discussion with regard to data collection focused on whether there should be parallel data collection or if data on refugee education should and could be integrated into national EMIS.
Data and M&E: Often in the early stages of an emergency, data on newly displaced people are reasonably well tracked, but as crises become protracted and complicated by returnee movements and new rounds of displacement, monitoring tools struggle to follow education requirements. Participants described primarily two scenarios for data collection : 1) through parallel collection mechanisms, when UNHCR and humanitarian partners collect data separately from the MoE 2)as part of EMIS. In some cases, displaced populations are specifically identified as refugees or IDPs (which may raise protection concerns), in others, they have not been, making it difficult to have a clear picture of how many refugees access education.
The choice of what kind of data collection system to use (parallel or integrated) needs to be harmonized among partners and the same technique and tools should ideally be used across populations, so that the results are comparable. This challenge relates directly to issues of Cost and Financing, because even if overall costing can be based on aggregate numbers, the challenge is then to allocate funds in the areas (and ultimately to the schools) where the funding is needed to ensure access to education for displaced populations.
Financing national education budgets occurs through a combination of national (internal) and external resources. Meeting the Sustainable Development Goal for education will require an increase in all forms of education financing. When separate education budgets are prepared for either refugees or IDPs, it may prove difficult to access development funding for those populations, thereby limiting their access to educational opportunities in the long-term. One of the solutions put forward for attracting funding (internally and externally) is the development of a sound, well-costed education plan that incorporates a risk analysis and any specific needs related to education for IDPs and refugees.
Barriers: Education is not a priority in the national budget; Additional costs associated with displacement are not in the annual budget of the MoE; No contingency fund or emergency stocks for use in case of a crisis ; Unpredictability of the flow of IDPs and also the expectation that IDPs will return to home Strategies suggested: Strengthen governance and accountability mechanisms; Develop a framework for an effective monitoring and evaluation system; Establish clear audit systems; Put in place management of information/communication and disclosure systems; Institute a coordination framework that provides an enabling environment for development partners and other stakeholders to participate in education for IDPs and refugees.
e-Forum Leaving no one behind: planning education for the inclusion of displaced populations
Leaving no one behind:
planning education for
the inclusion of displaced populations
CIES March 7, 2017
UNESCO IIEP, UNHCR, GPE and PEIC
Who participated and what was discussed?
3 themes :
Access to education
Quality of education
Management of education
Barriers and strategies to ACCESS
“It is not enough to make policies on paper without practically implementing it.”
- PARTICIPANT, OCTOBER 4
Barriers Strategies Barriers Strategies
Lack of policy &
Lack of space &
focused on integrating
refugees, waivers of
Placement tests, catch up
Free school & temporary
from school to district
to national level
Regular meetings &
Curriculum Teaching Force
Using Country of
Using Country of
Need for mutual recognition of competencies between
host countries and countries of origin.
Refugee teachers Host country
Need for consensus between local and
refugees actors and the recognition of
Method used for collecting data
Parallel data collection
Integration of refugees
into national EMIS
• Advantages: Clear
picture of the size of
• Disadvantages: Require
a good cooperation
• Advantages: nat’l EMIS
picture; is sustainable
• Disadvantages: Lack of
difficult to ID refugees
Data and M&E Cost & Financing