Saturday January 25, 2020

‘Education Crisis’ for Refugee Children : Over 3.5 Million Refugee Children Currently Missing out on Education

Refugee children will go back and rebuild their countries. So, they are the future. If we do not invest in their future, we do not invest in the world’s future.

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refugee children
South Sudanese refugee children look out of a transit tent at the Imvepi refugee settlement camp in Arua District, northern Uganda, August 22, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic - RC1C63EAF400 (VOA)

Geneva, September 13, 2017 : The U.N. refugee agency reports more than 3.5 million refugee children aged five to 17 did not attend school last year to the detriment of their future and the future well-being of society. The UNHCR is calling an education crisis for refugee children.

Children make up half of the 17.2 million refugees around the world and many of them are missing out on a productive future because they do not go to school.

Refugee children
Children of Rohingya refugees attend a temporary school run by a non-governmental organization at a camp for Rohingyas in New Delhi (VOA)

The UNHCR warns neglecting the education of millions of refugee children will undermine the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals — principally those targeting health, prosperity, equality and peace.

The refugee agency reports 91 percent of the world’s children attend primary school, compared to 61 percent for refugee children. It says that number drops to below 50 percent for refugee children in poor countries.

The agency finds those numbers drop precipitously as refugee children age, especially in the poorer countries. It says far fewer adolescents attend secondary school and enrollment in university is stuck at one percent.

Long-term consequences

UNHCR spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told VOA denying refugee children access to an education is short-sighted.

“There is a clear need for more solidarity and for making sure that people who take refugees in low income countries also have access to education. This is crucial,” she said. “We know that these refugee children will one day go back to their home places and rebuild their countries. So, they are the future. If we do not invest in their future, we do not invest in the world’s future.”

Refugee children
Syrian refugee girls in a 4th grade classroom in the U.N.-run Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees in northern Jordan. Guterres appealed to Arab states to overcome their divisions on Syria and help end the country’s six-year-old civil war. The U.N. chief is to attend an Arab Summit in Jordan on Wednesday.(AP Photo / Raad Adayleh) (VOA)

The UNHCR urges governments to include refugee children in their national education systems.

It also calls for more efforts to ensure refugee children are taught by properly trained and qualified teachers. (VOA)

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Every Child Should Have Access To Formal Education: Boman Irani

Boman Irani believes hat every child in the country should have access to formal education

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Boman Irani
Boman Irani wants every child in the country to have access to education. Wikimedia Commons

Thursday was Children’s Day, and veteran actor Boman Irani used the occasion to draw attention to the fact that every child in the country should have access to formal education, although that is not the only way to educate an individual.

“In my opinion, basic education should be accessible to every child in this country. Later, they should practice their choice on higher education, and things should not be imposed on them. I am not a big believer in formal education because I am a self-taught actor and photographer. I do not believe that one can only education himself between the age of five to 25. But I say that because formal education did not work for me that well,” Boman told IANS.

“Having said that I think when children go to school, they get a sense of childhood (later in their lives) because that is how society looks at children who are cared for. What they learn in school, and how much they are educated by attending class, is a different discussion. But access to education — the whole thing of wearing uniform, walking together with classmates and going to school — such things give them a structure in life,” he said.

child education, Boman Irani
According to Boman Irani basic education should be accessible to every child in this country. Pixabay

Boman plays a pivotal role in the new film “Jhalki”, which addresses the issue of child labour. He essays the character of Shyam Singh in the film, which is broadly based on the Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, who is known for his relentless work for children’s rights and Bachpan Bachao movement.

“Jhalki” is one of the releases in the Children’s Day weekend. The film revolves around the struggle of a young girl from an underprivileged background. She is in search for her brother who is employed as child labour and has gone missing. The film is directed by Brahmanand Siingh, and features two child artistes — Aarti and Goraksha — along with Sanjay Suri, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Divya Dutta and Govind Namdev.

“When a child wishes to go to school but doesn’t get the chance to do so owing to poverty, he or she feels like an outcast. That is almost criminal,” said the actor.

Also Read- Short Films Find Increasing Space In India

Interestingly, Boman has played characters like Viru Sahastrabuddhe (“3 Idiots”), Dr JC Asthana (“Munna Bhai MBBS”) that show another extreme side of higher education — how it can suffocate young minds. The actor mentions he has treated each of these characters differently, keeping his personal opinion aside.

“I reserve my opinion and never impose it on the character I portray in the film, because every character serves to tell a story and I am just an actor there. I am not judging the character. Personally, I do not support such imposition on students,” said the actor, who recently appeared “Made In China”. (Bollywood Country)