Displaced Children and Youth Face Disrupted Education
Limited physical infrastructure, insufficient teachers and human capital, and violence targeting schools themselves increase the acute difficulties in delivering education to refugee and displaced children and youth. In recent years, members of the global community have piloted the use of approaches like double-shift systems, radio-based curricula, and virtual learning tools, but worldwide, schools are still overcrowded and at-risk students are still left behind. How can we improve education delivery systems?
Displaced children struggle to access education, regardless of where they live. Many factors limit educational opportunities for children and youth affected by displacement, including language and residency barriers, increased poverty and child labor, and early marriage and other gender-based issues. For the estimated 75 percent of refugees and displaced youth living outside camps and formal systems, accessing education can be even more difficult. While relying on informal learning centers, local NGOs, and online learning can increase access, their use has not yet been adopted or resourced at scale.
During crises, education can provide children with life-saving survival skills and can protect them from violence, exploitation, criminal activity, and disease. In the long term, education can help manage the psychological impacts of conflict and displacement, counter ideas of radicalization and exclusion, and foster alternative social narratives. Throughout, it also improves health outcomes and increases economic development for individuals, families, and countries.
Outline solutions to help increase access to learning—for example, by scaling promising learning technologies. Suggest new models, techniques, and concepts that address key barriers to education delivery for students affected by crises. Propose tools and strategies to measure, monitor, and achieve quality learning, especially to overcome resource limitations, language barriers, and geographic challenges.