Start of school year for refugee children in Dadaab


Start of school year for refugee children in Dadaab

unhcr briefing notes, 02 Sep 2011

In Kenya, this coming Monday marks the start of the new school term and at Dadaab, the largest refugee complex in the world, some 40,000 refugee children are preparing to go to school - many for the first time. The influx of 154,000 new refugees from Somalia this year, more than half of whom are children, has added to already pressing needs at Dadaab for more classrooms, desks, stationery, textbooks and teachers. For the 156,000 school-age children in the three Dadaab camps there is currently only one teacher for every 100 pupils - and most of the teachers are themselves refugees. Enrolment remains low at 42 percent for primary and five percent for secondary schools. In the case of girls, enrolment is even lower, at 33 percent for primary school. Overall, some 75 additional schools, or 1800 classrooms, are urgently needed. Few of the newly-arrived refugee children have had any formal education in Somalia. To smooth their transition into schooling, UNHCR’s partner CARE recently began an accelerated learning programme to teach basic literacy and numeracy skills. Some 1500 children between the ages of five and 13 are benefiting from this programme.

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