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Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa Education Newsletter, September 2020

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UNHCR Education Report 2020: Coming Together for Refugee Education

While children in every country have struggled with the impact of COVID-19 on their education, UNHCR’s fifth annual education report, Coming Together for Refugee Education, finds that refugee children have been particularly disadvantaged.

Before the pandemic, a refugee child was twice as likely to be out of school as a non-refugee child. This is set to worsen - many may not have opportunities to resume their studies due to school closures, difficulties affording fees, uniforms or books, lack of access to technologies or because they are being required to work to support their families.

Refugee girls already have less access to education than boys and are half as likely to be enrolled in school by the time they reach secondary level. Based on UNHCR data, Malala Fund’s report, Girls’ Education and COVID-19, has shown that as a result of COVID19, half of all refugee girls in secondary will not return to school. For countries where refugee girls' secondary enrolment was already less than 10%, all girls are at risk of dropping out for good, a chilling prediction that would have an impact for generations to come.

As part of its emergency response and in order to mitigate the risk of permanent school dropout, UNHCR has supported 34,868 children and youth with distance/home-based learning in the West & Central Africa region.