By Constance Ndeleko
“Children are the most vulnerable category, they are the future. Education is important and if they don’t get it now, we risk a lost generation. If host countries don’t help them,
children will be left to the street.
We should change the narrative. Those children, if educated well and put on the right track, will become good citizens in their societies.” says Moussa, Lebanese Early Childhood Development and Care Teacher
Why education is important to refugee children?
- Education is a refugee child’s right and should be prioritized;
- Education helps refugee children cope and hope in their new environments;
- Education will improve their futures; and
- Ensuring refugee children are educated will help bring peace and stability.
Education provides hope for the future.
According to Save Children: many teachers stressed that refugee children are looking for purpose. They are “searching for future success,” something on which to “hang their hopes,” and they are acutely aware that education is their key to a brighter future. Teachers noted that refugee children still have ambition and hope, despite what they have gone through.
It is important to acknowledged that refugee children’s futures would most likely be bleak if they missed out on school. These children would struggle to feed their families, as well as face countless other hardships.
The negative impact of missed education on refugee children and youth can be significant and life-changing. The less education a child receives, the more likely he or she is to have limited earning potential and to live in poverty.
This has key multiplier effects in terms of health and development impacts. Less-educated girls are more likely to become pregnant, marry early, have more children, and
lose more of their children in infancy – all of which have negative consequences on their physical, emotional and economic well-being.
Communities would suffer if refugee children were uneducated. Teachers, especially those who are also refugees, regularly noted that refugee children are the “next generation of leaders,” and educating them while they are displaced is essential because they will be the key to restoring peace and stability in their home countries and “preventing future wars.”
When refugee children are not in school and without purpose, they will “feel they are inferiors,” that this will be a “problem for their surroundings” and there is risk they will “become troublemakers” and “resort to unwanted behavior.” Conversely, if children are educated and put on the right track, they “will become good citizens in their societies.”
“Investing in education is important because when you bring refugees back to school,
it will rub out their stress and the bad memories of the incidents at home. Those who
feel isolated will feel united. Education is a key to your life and a light for your future.” says Tabu Agnes, South Sudanese Accelerated Education Program teacher in Uganda
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