Primary education is a universal right of every refugee child. Education is vital to all aspects of a child’s and adolescent’s development and is an essential protection tool, in particular in a refugee camp setting.
ARRA is the primary implementing partner running elementary schooling in all refugee camps in the country.
Despite the challenges our goal for education programmes is to ensure that as many children as possible have access to schooling. ARRA has a responsibility to ensure equal access for all children who fall within the school-aged group. By prioritizing education, we strive to make a significant contribution to refugee children’s well-being.
As most of the refugees were either denied access or didn’t have the opportunity to go to schools or college while they were in their countries, the government of Ethiopia has allowed refugees to enroll in Ethiopian institutions of higher learning, enabling them to gain skills and knowledge. Due to prolonged conflicts in countries where refugees came from such as South Sudan and Somalia, infrastructures such as schools have been destroyed, limiting access to education. In Eritrea, opportunities for tertiary education are very much limited and the youth spend most of their productive years in the government open-ended and often forced military service.
Ethiopia, in spite of its limited resources, has committed itself to provide refugees with educational opportunities-up to university level- that were denied to them by their own governments. This is evident in the hundreds of scholarships that are provided to refugees each year, enabling them to enroll in first degree programs and, some in post graduate studies.
Free university scholarships provided by the Ethiopian government have enabled many to pursue a dream they have long sought. After graduation, quite a significant number of refugees were able to set up their own businesses in the refugee camps. Some make an earning to themselves and their families through employment in the informal sector. The knowledge and skills they gain in the Ethiopian universities and colleges will help them to rebuild their lives when they eventually return home.
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