3.7 million refugee children out of school: UNHCR

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A group of Sudanese student gathered around a book during school time in a refugees camp.
A group of Sudanese student gathered around a book during school time in a refugees camp.

More than half of the world’s refugee children are out of school, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Friday.

Among 7.1 million school-age refugees worldwide, about 3.7 million are not getting an education, showed a Friday report by the Geneva-based UNHCR.

“We need to invest in refugee education or pay the price of a generation of children condemned to grow up unable to live independently, find work and be full contributors to their communities,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees.

The agency warned that due to a lack of funding, the older these children become, the harder it becomes for them to overcome educational barriers.

It showed that 63 percent of refugee children enrolled in primary schools, compared to 91 percent of children globally. Meanwhile, merely 24 percent of refugee adolescents receive secondary education, as 84 percent around the world get the opportunity.

The UNHCR ascribed the steep decline of refugee enrolment to a lack of funding, calling on governments, private sectors and donors to finance a new initiative to make secondary education more available to refugees.

The agency said the initiative would help construct and refurbish schools, train teachers, and cover school-goers commuting expenses.

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