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Refugee Education: A Long-Term Investment

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Who is best placed to guarantee edu- Brief Points cation to children whose educational path has been disrupted by armed conflict and flight? Displacement situations are mostly protracted, and yet refugee education is at present mainly planned with short-term time horizons. In this brief, we argue that a substantial shift is needed that enables long-term investment in educating children in protracted refugee situations. We present ‘lessons learned’ from the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya, which were established in 1991 with the outbreak of the Somali Civil War and still host refugees to this day

Brief Points

  • Short-term humanitarian planning and funding cycles clash with the long-term requirements of education.

  • A child’s schooling takes place over multiple years and requires continuity.

  • Refugee realities, however, are often highly unpredictable and subject to change.

  • Long-term investment in education is crucial to improving the chances of not only individuals, but also communities and nation-states.

  • Among the many providers of refugee education, refugee communities themselves are key.