Middle East

The world needs to step up support for Afghan refugee education in Pakistan

Increasing access to refugee education has untapped potential to create a generation of young people who can contribute to the development of both Pakistan and its hometown of Afghanistan when the situation improves.

Pakistan has 1.44 million registered Afghan refugees and an additional 600,000 unregistered Afghan refugees, many of whom have been in Afghanistan since the 1970s and left Afghanistan for security and security.

The United Nations estimates that nearly 80% of school-aged Afghan refugees are not currently enrolled in or have access to formal primary education.Considering the Taliban takeover Recent development In Afghanistan, educating young people in Afghanistan in host countries like Pakistan is more important than ever, especially for young girls and others with special needs.

Pakistan does not have a formal legal framework to protect refugees, but Pakistani authorities have a general historical intention to allow Afghanistan to stay in the country until the domestic situation improves.

For registered Afghan refugees (formally known as Certificate of Registration (PoR) cardholders), this status is important because they have access to basic services, including primary education. As in any part of the world, education is a core human right that provides the foundation for individuals to lead sustainable and fulfilling lives.

Access to primary education for Pakistani refugees is actually enshrined in law and policy. But in reality, the ability of Afghan youth to attend school is by no means simple.

Poor Pakistani children are also faced, but due to the many barriers that are becoming more complex for refugees, tuition, transportation costs, school distance from refugee residences, and especially outdated educational practices, etc. , Many Afghan refugee children are educated.

Access to education and the challenge of quality were exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. From March 2020 to February 2021, Pakistani schools were closed for 137 days as directed by the government. Due to limited access to online learning platforms, many refugees not only missed a significant amount of education, but also dropped out altogether.

Access to education for girls who are late

In the larger population of Afghan refugee children in Pakistan, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, girls face further obstacles to their education. As of June 2021, it was estimated that only 35 percent of the current 31,266 students studying in so-called “refugee village” schools were girls.

In many places, co-educational schools remain the only option because girls’ schools do not exist or are too far from refugee housing. Most conservative homes choose not to use it.

When the Covid-19 pandemic began, many children were forced to quit their education to support their families in domestic work. The loss of livelihoods within the family also led to negative coping mechanisms such as increased early marriage, especially among girls.

Education as the basis of long-term solutions

For refugees, access to education plays an important role in creating resilience, strengthening community support networks, accessing future lives, and providing the skills needed to lead an independent and rewarding life. I will do it. Schools also serve as a place for educators to identify the risks faced by children. Whether it is a medical need, potential abuse, learning disability, or other support service.

Classrooms can make a difference during the child’s formation. When quality inclusive education is available and children and their parents are engaged in the education provided, children should be able to get out of poverty and lay the foundation necessary to lead an independent and resilient life. I can. Education and training also provide the necessary foundation for all individuals, whether refugees or not, to seek and secure paid employment when they reach adulthood.

In the case of Pakistan, increasing access to refugee education has untapped potential to create a generation of young people who can contribute to the development of both Pakistan and its hometown of Afghanistan when the situation improves.

What should we do to change the status quo?

To address the cultural, structural, and policy-level gaps associated with the education of Pakistani Afghanistan refugee children, civil society has many specifics that the Pakistani government, UN refugee agencies, and donors can take. Measures have been identified.

Remedies include building additional girls’ schools, removing barriers to physical infrastructure for children with disabilities and girls, reducing the distance refugees have to travel to schools, investing in teacher training, and dropping out. Of the school, which includes the development of a reintegration program for students who may have been forced into. These steps will not solve all existing challenges, but will contribute to future enrollment and student retention.

Importantly, ensuring that Afghan refugees themselves are at the forefront of decision-making is also imposed on all parties supporting the education of Afghan refugee children. This can be done through the inclusion of Afghan refugees in important decisions, improving the effectiveness of parent teacher committees, and continued involvement with parents. Only with the direct input of the affected person can parents make informed decisions about the specific needs of their child.

Pakistan, which has been generously accepting Afghan refugees for decades, cannot and should not expect to improve its current situation on its own. Children of Afghan refugees cannot fully understand their right to quality education without the support of the international community, donors and civil society.

With technical assistance, capacity building of government staff, investment in physical infrastructure, and long-term efforts by donors and international stakeholders, governments can provide refugees with the coveted educational reforms.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views, views and editorial policies of TRT World.

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Source: TRT World

https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/the-world-needs-to-step-up-support-for-afghan-refugee-education-in-pakistan-54845?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss The world needs to step up support for Afghan refugee education in Pakistan

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