July 7, 2019 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Director of the Health & Social Development Division of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ms Fathia A. Alwan, on Saturday closed the ‘Fifth Biannual Meeting of Experts of Member States in Charge of Education for Refugees Returnees, and Host Communities’ in Addis Ababa.
After three days of intensive and fruitful deliberations, the education experts from the IGAD Member States came to the below recommendations to fast track the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration on Regional Conference on Refugee Education in IGAD Member States
of December 2017:
- Scale-up sensitisation on the Djibouti Declaration to the target constituencies of Refugees, Returnees and Host Communities for increased awareness and capitalisation on the accruing education, training and livelihood opportunities;
- Integrate peace-building, conflict resolution and community integration into the (extra) learning curriculum in Refugee, Returnee and Host Community areas;
- Advocate for peacebuilding and conflict resolution learning interventions to be complemented by the wider peace-building, conflict resolution, national cohesion and reconstruction efforts in refugee hosting areas and areas of return;
- Regularise the participation of and input from teachers and students from refugee, returnee and host communities in future consultations and dialogue processes of the Djibouti Declaration;
- Review TVET training courses and match against projected labour market needs in the Member States and the IGAD region.
In view of the Global Refugee Forum Scheduled for December 17-19, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, IGAD Member States were encouraged to complete formulation of costed National Education Response Plans (NERPs). The forum provides an opportunity for IGAD MS to tap into the financial, material & technical commitments that will be made in support of the components for education of refugees, returnees and host communities within the respective NERPs. Costed NERPs also provide a basis for synchronised resource mobilisation for related spheres in refugee education.
IGAD Partners such the UNHCR, Education Cannot wait (ECW) and UNESCO are positioned to provide technical support to IGAD Member States in the development and finalisation of their respective costed NERPs.
There were also thematic recommendations for the improvement of Refugees education:
- On Schools in Refugee Hosting Areas and Areas of Return;
- On Refugee, Returnee and Host Community Students;
- On Refugee, Returnee and Host Community Teachers.