Complementary Pathways through Education for Refugees in the West and Central Africa Region: Mapping Refugee Education Opportunities

16 Dec, 2021

Student in UPSA

Education Sub Saharan Africa (ESSA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa (WCA) have produced a comprehensive report titled ‘Complementary Pathways through Education for Refugees in WCA Region’.

The report provides reliable, comparable data between 21 countries in WCA, highlighting education pathways absent from national contexts. We call upon UNHCR, refugees in WCA, refugee bureaus across WCA, policymakers in WCA, academic experts and actors providing scholarships to identify potential and existing complementary educational pathways for refugees across the WCA region.

Key messages

a) Refugee education must be prioritised, as it plays a crucial role in helping refugees integrate into their host communities.

b) Extraordinary efforts are needed to reach UNHCR’s 2030 target – of 15% of college-eligible refugees enrolled in Higher Education (HE), Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) – from a current baseline of 1% in WCA.

c) Giving refugees access to education under the same conditions as nationals is commendable, but not equitable, given the additional socio-economic challenges and barriers faced by refugees in the host country.

d) Additional financial resources and support from UNHCR and its existing and/or potential investors and other stakeholders can help accelerate the availability and accessibility of complementary education opportunities to refugees.

e) We need a robust information management system to collect and analyse baseline data on the key factors influencing the design of appropriate and accessible complementary pathways through education, and to document pathways that currently exist. This is vital for increasing the visibility and use of existing education pathways by refugees in the WCA region and targeting new ones where they are most needed. This data is also required for monitoring progress and ensuring accountability by different stakeholders.

f) Together, we must build a knowledge ecosystem that facilitates stakeholder and sector-wide learning and collective voice to increase education pathways for refugees.

Download the report


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