How can we improve learning outcomes for refugees and displaced people under 24?
Globally, over 50 million children are refugees or migrants, and account for over 50 percent of refugees worldwide. Providing children and young people under 24 with education throughout their lives as refugees and displaced people is critical: ensuring their education isn’t disrupted is a key step to mitigating the impact of a current crisis and protecting against a future one. 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.
What challenges do we face providing refugee and displaced children and youth with quality education?
Displaced children and youth have interrupted and disrupted education: refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugee children, and conflict-affected countries are typically among the farthest from reaching global education targets to ensure all children receive quality primary and secondary education.
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. What technological solutions or new models could help increase access to those who are not able to access formal systems?
Providing even basic education to children affected by crisis is challenging: the sheer demand for services is overwhelming, especially in places like Lebanon and Jordan, which have faced an influx of millions of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in recent years. 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?
When refugees and displaced students matriculate into new education systems, from host countries to temporary camps, communities often struggle to maintain quality learning, and to evaluate educational aptitude and place students in the correct level of education. As students progress through these temporary educational systems with the intent of eventually transitioning either back to their home countries or to higher education opportunities, it is even more difficult for communities to evaluate the quality of learning outcomes on a consistent basis. How can new tools and approaches support quality learning, and measure educational achievement?
How can Solve help the world’s most vulnerable children achieve their highest potential?
The Solve community aims to help fill some of the acute gaps in thinking, implementation, and discovery which exist in the effort to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. To help jumpstart additive solutions to guarantee refugee children and displaced youth learn to their highest potential, the Solve community can:
- 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.