Regional collaboration to strengthen education for nationals & Syrian refugees in Arabic speaking host countries
Louisa Visconti, Center for the Study of Genocide & Human Rights, United States ; Diane Gal, School for Graduate Studies, United States
International Journal of Educational Development Volume 61, Number 1, ISSN 0738-0593 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
The international community launched the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) to help meet the needs of more than 4.8 million registered Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. The education arm of 3RP is the No Lost Generation (NLG) initiative, which supports the ministries of education in these host countries expand access to education; ensure the provision of quality, relevant education; and strengthen national and sub-national education systems. Planning of NLG efforts is regional; however, decision-making and implementation remain at the country level. Our study analyzes NLG initiatives for refugees in the context of recent education reform undertaken by Jordan and Lebanon, as these countries have focused on improving their national systems. We find that continued political instability in the region, and uncertainty of where refugees will reside in the future, coupled with common socio-economic concerns of the four countries, and comparable weaknesses of their education systems, suggest regional collaboration is needed to strengthen education systems. Three recommendations are offered to build the region's education systems: standardize K-12 curricula in STEM and standardize accreditation requirements for secondary formal education and NFE; develop regional databases in Arabic of evidence-based best teaching practices; improve linkages between universities and industry to secondary schools to ensure skills developed are compatible to those needed in the 21 st century economy. These recommendations make education more portable for refugees, given their uncertain future; they equalize learning opportunities for students, regardless of SES and geography; they make education relevant for refugees and nationals, providing skills young people need for better prospects. At the same time, our recommendations respect national authority in key subjects and promote local ownership of teaching and learning processes.
Visconti, L. & Gal, D. (2018). Regional collaboration to strengthen education for nationals & Syrian refugees in Arabic speaking host countries. International Journal of Educational Development, 61(1), 106-116. Elsevier Ltd.