Pandemic threatens refugee kids’ schooling: UN

Foreign Desk Report

GENEVA: Half of all refugee children were already out of school before the Coronavirus hit, and the UN cautioned Thursday the pandemic risked deepening a crisis robbing millions of future prospects. A new report from the UNHCR refugee agency warned that many refugee children, especially girls, who had attended school before the novel coronavirus swept the world would not be able to return.
“After everything they have endured, we cannot rob them of their futures by denying them an education today,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said in a statement, calling for action to support refugees’ right to an education. The report, using data from 12 countries that host more than half of the world’s refugee children, found that more than 1.8 million of them or a full 48 percent of all refugee children of school age are out of school.
Attendance is particularly lacklustre in secondary school and higher. Around 77 percent of the refugee children were enrolled in primary school, but only 31 percent attended secondary school and three percent were in higher education, the report showed. While the UNHCR said a shift in methodology made it difficult to compare with data from previous years, it noted the statistics, dire as they look, actually represent a small improvement.