UNESCO report highlights need to address barriers to education facing migrants and displaced people

published 20 November 2018 updated 22 November 2018

UNESCO’s 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report highlights countries’ achievements and shortcomings in ensuring the right of migrant and refugee children to quality education, a right that serves the interests of both learners and the communities they live in.

Migrant and refugee children in the world today could fill half a million classrooms, an increase of 26 per cent since 2000. But, without appropriate structures in place, refugee children have missed 1.5 billion days of school since 2016. That is according to the new 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report by UNESCO, Migration, displacement and education: Building bridges not walls, launched today, 20 November 2018. The report will be presented at major events in Berlin, Beirut, Morocco, Nairobi, and Brussels.

Evidence-based report

The report presents evidence on the implications of different types of migration and displacement for education systems. In addition, it outlines the impact that reforming education curricula and approaches to pedagogy and teacher preparation can have on addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by migration and displacement. It also gives voice to experiences in host and home communities.

With the help of case studies, it illustrates approaches which work and could be scaled up, while making the case for investing in education of good quality in rural areas suffering from depopulation and in slum areas suffering from large population inflows. It also highlights the need for investment in countries with high rates of emigration and those with high rates of immigration, as well as in short-term refugee emergencies and in protracted crises. Its analysis, conclusions, and recommendations are set to advance the aims of Sustainable Development Goal 4, with a main message: to leave no one behind.

Resilience and inclusion

“Everyone loses when the education of migrants and refugees is ignored,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay to mark the launch of the report. “It is the best way to make communities stronger and more resilient.”

Education International General Secretary David Edwards noted that the report included one of EI’s key demands: “Teachers and education support personnel should be empowered and given the necessary skills, tools and support to help migrants and refugees to recover, adjust and flourish in their new environment.”

You can download the report here and EI's full analysis here

Here are some thoughts and reflections by our general secretary David Edwards: