At least 3.5 million children refugee did not have the chance to attend school in the last academic year, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has said.
The UN refugee agency in a report: ‘Left Behind: Refugee Education in Crisis’ published on Tuesday, called for education to be made a vital component of humanitarian response.
The report said there were 6.4 million refugees of school age between five and 17 among the 17.2 million refugees under the mandate of UNHCR.
“The education of these young people is crucial to the peaceful and sustainable development of the countries that had welcomed them, and to their homes when they are able to return.
“Yet compared to other children and adolescents around the world, the gap in opportunity for refugees is growing ever wider,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said.
Globally, 91 per cent of children attended primary school and for refugees that figure is far lower at only 61 per cent, according to the report.
“The figure is even less than 50 per cent in low-income countries.
“As refugee children get older, the obstacles only increase as just 23 per cent of refugee adolescents are enrolled in secondary school, compared to 84 per cent globally.
“In low-income countries, which host 28 per cent of the world’s refugees, the number in secondary education is disturbingly low, at a mere nine per cent,” he added.
Grandi said ensuring that refugees had equitable access to quality education is a shared responsibility.
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