Education in Transition
Millions of people are currently displaced or living in refugee camps across the Middle East. Many others are living in precarious conditions in Europe, waiting in transit or sent from country to country. At the same time, the so-called refugee crisis corresponds to a vast crisis in education, with serious long-term impacts for the future of the Middle East. Some refugees have provisional documentation, while others have been refused residence permits and live with an undocumented status. It is therefore essential to ensure that all young people do receive education, however, regardless of their status, economical situation or geographical location.
Many international organisations, regional agencies and NGOs are currently involved with refugee education projects. But working with education through humanitarian organisations does not only entail challenges of coordination or continuity in funding. Considerable attention is needed to go beyond basic literacy aims and the focus often placed on primary education levels. It is also not adequate to simply transpose teaching approaches and curricula from existing systems, due to the precarious life situation of the students, and in view of the reconstruction and reconciliation challenges the region will be facing. To deal with the challenges of reconstructing their personal lives, as well as reconstructing societies in the Middle East, the best quality of education is required at levels ranging from preschool to university research environments. In refugee education, the specific content of education needs to be considered, the ways different qualifications link together, and the pedagogies that are used. We need to reflect more consistently on which blends of competences will be needed to deal with the sequels of destruction, and how energies can be catalysed into constructive action.
’Education in transition’ is a platform for educational reflection and research, that will unite projects relating to the considerations that underlie long-term refugee education policy strategies, as well as investigating the roles played by multiple educational actors and impacts on specific groups of learners. Education in transition also aims to share insights and advance reflection by organising international workshops. Training events for teachers and educational leaders will be arranged in collaboration with regional universities and organisations.