Hear it from the Teachers

“Education is essential for children. It's like the difference between light and darkness. Without knowledge, their options are limited. School is participation and joy. Children open up to the world and think of their responsibilities. Education is very important because we need a generation equipped with knowledge. That's strength.” – Mahmoud, Syrian Early Childhood Care and Development teacher in Lebanon

Four million refugee children around the world are out of school – missing out on their right to an education due to displacement, poverty and exclusion.

There may be no classroom, no books, no blackboard, or no chalk – but if there is a good teacher, children will learn. Teachers matter more than any single factor to children’s learning. That’s why investing in teachers should be the highest priority if we are to achieve our aim of providing quality education to all refugee children.

“Hear it from the Teachers” sheds light on the situation for teachers of refugee children, hearing directly from them what they see as the biggest challenges to doing their jobs well and in supporting refugee children to recover, learn and thrive.

To elevate the voices of teachers, we interviewed 28 Save the Children teachers and facilitators from refugee and host communities in Bangladesh, Lebanon and Uganda to find out the key challenges they face. They told us that their ability to support refugee children’s learning and recovery is often thwarted by four key issues:

  • Refugee children’s psychosocial well-being;
  • Their struggle to learn the new language of instruction;
  • The limited capacity of the most marginalized children to catch up and start learning without targeted support; and
  • The lack of professional development and support teachers receive to meet refugee children’s distinct needs in these respects.

Save the Children teachers recognize the need to provide refugee students with targeted psychosocial and language support, and for marginalized children to access learning. Because refugee children face distinct issues, the teachers called on host governments, agencies and the international community to do everything possible to support teachers to ensure refugee children thrive in their classrooms, and the most marginalized return to learning.

Teachers are our biggest allies and our biggest assets in the effort to return every refugee child to learning. They must be heard.

“Investing in education is important because when you bring refugees back to school, it will rub out their stress and the bad memories. Those who feel isolated will feel united. Education is a key to your life and a light for your future.” – Tabu Agnes, Uganda

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