Ethiopia Working to Improve Refugees’ Access to Education

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Ethiopia is working to improve the provision of education to refugees sheltering in camps in the country through the Administration for Refugee and Returnees Affairs (ARRA). Through the activities carried out so far,  gross enrolment rate in primary education for refugees has reached 70.5 percent in 2017, according to ARRA. Currently, some 177,745 refugees are enrolled in primary, secondary, pre-school, and alternative education in refugee camps in various parts of the country. Ethiopia hosts more than 850,000 refugees mainly from Eritrea, Somalia and South Sudan in 27 camps.

The primary education enrolment rate has increased by 8.5 percent compared to the previous year.  Through the campaign conducted under the motto of “No school-age child shall be out of school”, the institution has managed to ensure some 20,573 new enrolments in 2017. Construction of schools and deployment of qualified teachers are also among the activities that ARRA is engaged.

Education in Emergency Team Leader at Save the Children, Abera Mekonen told ENA that efforts are being exerted to improve refugees’ access to education in collaboration with the government and other stakeholders. The support covers childhood care, early childhood education, primary education and alternative basic education. “Education is very important even in an emergency, it is a sign of stability, and school is a centre of safety and protection.”

In addition to enabling refugees to attend primary education; ARRA has also been working on secondary and tertiary school programs for refugees by providing scholarships.

The government has provided scholarships for refugees, mainly Eritreans, since 2010; however, the program was opened for refugees from South Sudan and Somalia since in 2012. Some 2,386 refugees have so far joined public universities through government scholarship program. In 2017 alone, some 514 refugees have joined public universities through the program.

Ethiopia is home to the world’s 5th largest refugee population, hosting more than 850,000 refugees.

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