Gambella, December 10, 2018 (GCDC) - A project to construct schools in refugee camps and host communities in Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz regions in Ethiopia has been launched
“This project represents a significant step in our efforts to provide children in refugee camps and host communities, the opportunity to learn and reach for their fullest potential,” says UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia Gillian Mellsop. “Education offers children the best pathway to a better life and no child should be denied that opportunity regardless of their present circumstances.”
The project will result in 3,600 children being enrolled in secondary school and 8,400 in primary school. The schools are expected to be ready in time for the 2019-2020 academic years. Each new school will be fully equipped with furniture, laboratories, libraries, teachers’ offices, and gender-segregated latrines.
“Ethiopia has a history of generosity in hosting refugees. The international community must play its part and support Ethiopia’s efforts for children and youth uprooted by conflict and violence to fulfill their right to quality education and ensure they can learn and thrive,” says Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.
The project will boost gross enrollment numbers in both regions. Currently, secondary school gross enrollment in host communities in Benishangul-Gumuz is 33 percent and 66 percent in the Gambella Region. The numbers are significantly lower among refugees at 8 percent and 13 percent in Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella respectively.
In addition to school construction, Education Cannot Wait is improving the quality of education by providing school improvement grants, teaching and learning materials plus improving the capacity of teachers to deliver quality and inclusive education. These efforts are benefitting both host and refugee communities thereby enhancing the gradual integration of refugee education services into the national education system.
Key project partners include the Ministry of Education, the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, UNICEF, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. (APN)