Education for Refugees is Essential for Development
In Jordan, many Syrian refugees are struggling to settle in. The refugees went there to avoid a difficult war but it is challenging to start a new life away from home. Muzoon is a 16-year-old “champion on education” in her community. She is determined to stop the current situation from destroying the future for her people.

Muzoon believes in chances and creating opportunities. She wants to build enthusiasm toward education for refugees in her generation. She is also keen on promoting values and being independent in her thoughts and practices. Muzoon was referred to as the “Malala” of Syrian refugees.

Muzoon appreciates and acknowledges the value of education. As a refugee in a camp managed by the United Nation’s Refugee Agency, she understands that education for refugees is a key component for development. Furthermore, it is also a basic human right and the United Nations strives to provide it to all refugee children.

Currently, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) takes care of 20 million refugees. Among these, 50% of the children are enrolled in primary education, 25% have access to secondary education and only 1% have access to tertiary education.

The UNHCR realizes that education is crucial for displaced communities. It serves the need for life skills and psychosocial needs. In addition to that, education promotes cohesion, provides access to valuable information and offers a safe environment.

Education for refugees is a great enabler. It provides capacity and opportunity for growth. With Syria’s war, there is a massive human crisis that requires a quick response. If refugees, especially the young generations are not educated, there is a chance of these children encountering future disadvantages such as poverty.

Just like any other major natural disaster, education deserves to be treated as of equal importance. However, providing education for refugees is a long-term cause and it will require long-term funding to achieve the development of the refugee community. An investment in education is even more important to girls. It reduces the chances of forced labor, early marriage and extremism. This investment will help young girls and refugees in general to avoid such risks and develop a purposeful life.

Furthermore, the British Council believes that the refugee community needs to be taught about hope. As an epic tragedy, the problem could have massive spillovers. Ensuring education for refugees is a key response to such a crisis.

The British Council works on integrating refugees into their new communities, especially the refugees moving to Europe, by providing language training to cope with the challenges in the new communities.

The British Council has a firm belief that humanitarian relief is very essential, but aid goes beyond simple relief. Since the scale of the crisis is huge, education will make a lasting difference.

Noman Ahmed

Photo: Flickr