Teachers College study finds gap between refugee policy and practice hinders urban refugee children’s access to education

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Teachers College study finds gap between refugee policy and practice hinders urban refugee children’s access to education

As a majority of the world’s displaced people settle in urban areas, TC researchers recommend ways to improve access to education for urban refugees

(Reposted from: Teachers College, Columbia University)

 visit Teachers College Refugee Education website for supporting resources

The increasing urbanization of the world’s displaced people presents unique obstacles to displaced children attempting to attend local schools, despite their widely recognized right to do so, according to a report released by Teachers College. 

The report, titled “Urban Refugee Education: Strengthening Policies and Practices for Access, Quality, and Inclusion,” is the first-ever global study of urban refugee education. Funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, it exposes a gap between policy and practice when it comes to ensuring access of displaced children to educational and support services in urban settings. [Read an executive summary of the report.]

 

“The emblematic image of refugees living in camps is no longer the norm,” according to the report, written by Mary Mendenhall, Assistant Professor of Practice; S. Garnett Russell, Assistant Professor; and  Elizabeth Buckner, Visiting Assistant Professor, all in the International and Comparative Education program at Teachers College.

The report recommends that refugee students be fully integrated and included in national schools, and that civil organizations support non-formal education programs to address the distinct needs of refugee students not met by government schools.

In addition to a Policy Report summarizing the study’s findings, this website offers a wealth of resources documenting obstacles faced by displaced children in obtaining an education as well as guidelines, strategies and advocacy priorities to support greater educational access and quality for urban refugee children.

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