From this year, the Refugee Education Integration Policy (REIP) was introduced to support Syrian refugee children to access quality, inclusive and sustainable education through the public system and to promote their integration and participation in community life in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Erbil, September 20, 2022 – On the occasion of the new academic year in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), the Ministry of Education of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) together with UNICEF, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Save the Children and the education partners launched the Back to Learning Campaign to further improve access for out-of-school Iraqi children and to welcome refugee children to quality education in public schools. The campaign reaffirms the commitment of UN agencies and partners to support the implementation of the Refugee Education Integration Policy (REIP), which was adopted by the KRG in late 2021. Under the motto: “Education for everyone for a better future! The event took place at the Bahari nwe school in Erbil, where some Syrian refugee children are now enrolled.
“With the support of our partners, we are committed to reaching out to the most vulnerable children and helping them achieve their dreams of a better future,” said HE Alan Hama Sa’eed Salih, KRG Minister of Education, at the event . He stressed the importance of all children having equal access to education.
Starting this school year, all refugee children between the ages of six and nine can register and study at any public school in KRI. The KRI Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Directorates of Education, schools and educational partners, will ensure access to education for all children in a welcoming learning environment. Children are taught the officially recognized curriculum languages (Sorani, Badini, Assyrian, Turkmen, English and Arabic) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
“Every child has the right to education, formal, informal, online or in person, regardless of their background or situation. UNICEF wants all children to go to school and learn. This also applies to refugees, and therefore the implementation of the Refugee Education Integration Policy will enable refugee children to have a brighter future. UNICEF will continue to support the KRI Ministry of Education in implementing this policy and is committed to reaching all children with quality education,” said Teija Vallandingham, UNICEF Education Director in Iraq. “The inclusion of refugee children in the education system is a step towards an inclusive society.”
“It is our shared responsibility to make every effort to pave the way for a better future for displaced children. The Ministry of Education of the Kurdistan Regional Government is showing great leadership in accepting refugee children to enroll in public schools and qualified refugee teachers to participate in this educational effort. KRI shows the region and beyond what it means to welcome refugees,” said Jean-Nicolas Beuze, UNHCR Representative in Iraq. “Many of the refugee students in KRI were born here after their parents fled their homeland in northeast Syria ten years ago. Studying alongside their Iraqi Kurdish friends will give them more opportunities to forge bonds that hold communities together.”
“Children are the future of our country and it is our responsibility to ensure that ‘no child is excluded from the right to a potential and better future’ – which can be made possible by keeping them in school and throughout this back to school.” bring the learning center to the learning campaign. As the leading children’s rights organization, Save the Children believes that education is a fundamental right of children, regardless of their race, religion, migrant status, ability/disability status and gender, and over the years Save the Children has supported children’s right to education Thousands of children including refugees, host communities and Iraqi internally displaced by Da’esh violence,” said Rizgar Al-Jaff, acting country director of Save the Children Iraq. “Save the Children, together with all education partners, UN agencies, national and international NGOs, must continue their efforts to ensure that all children from every corner of Iraq have access to quality education without discrimination.”
In addition to the REIP, the Back to Learning campaign aims to address the key factors that have led to children not attending school. The first objective is to ensure that out-of-school Iraqi children and youth are identified and have access to physical or virtual learning facilities/platforms within formal or non-formal education. The campaign then goes on to address other social, cultural, economic, political, behavioral or personal issues that impede their access to education. Authorities in the education sector are informed of new and emerging issues that have impacted children’s access to education and excluded them from school. To keep track of these achievements, an online system records the necessary information about these children and young people, the reasons for their school dropout and the progress made in supporting the children to enroll in formal or non-formal education. Around 33,000 Iraqi children and young people who do not attend school are to be reached during this year’s campaign.
To close this learning gap, UN agencies and partners will continue to support the KRI Ministry of Education to provide access to education for all children, including Syrian refugee children and youth.
Notes for editors:
UNICEF works in some of the toughest places on earth to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. In more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere to create a better world for all.
For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit: www.unicef.org
Follow UNICEF on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Youtube
For more information, please contact:
Miguel Mateos Munoz, Head of Communications & Advocacy, UNICEF Iraq,
+964 7827820238, [email protected]
Monica Awad, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Iraq, Tel: +964 7809258545, [email protected]
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, protects people forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution. Working in over 130 countries, we protect millions of people by responding with lifesaving assistance, protecting basic human rights and helping them build a better future.
For more information about UNHCR, visit: http://www.unhcr.org
For more information on education services for refugees in Iraq, visit: https://help.unhcr.org/iraq/en/rights-and-obligations/education/
Follow UNHCR Iraq on Twitter (@UNHCRIraq), Facebook and Instagram
For more information, please contact:
Firas Al-Khateeb, Spokesman and Communications Officer, UNHCR Iraq,
Shaza Shekfeh, Deputy Communications Officer, UNHCR Iraq
+964 770 494 6384 [email protected]
About Save the Children
Save the Children has been working in Iraq since 1991. We are one of the largest international NGOs, operating in over 100 countries around the world, responding to the humanitarian, recovery and developmental needs of children and their families with the belief that every child has a future filled with opportunity.
We operate integrated child-focused programs in Ninewah, Dohuk, Kirkuk, Salah-addin, Anbar, Basra, Diyala and Baghdad
Learn more about Save the Children Iraq. (www.iraq.savethechildren.net)
For more information, please contact:
Noor Mousa, Advocacy and Campaigns Coordinator, SCI IRAQ.
Nirali Mehta, Director of Program Development and Quality – Iraq. SCI Iraq.
+964 751 124 0235