Refugee girls face overwhelming barriers to accessing quality education. Beyond realities that affect many young women, such as early and forced marriage, early pregnancy, an unfair burden of domestic chores, and family financial constraints, refugee girls face further, unique challenges.
With limited mobility and very few options for employment, refugee girls have limited incentives to attend school. Facing double discrimination due to their gender and refugee status, even those who do make it to school, are at risk of both underperforming and dropping out. In addition, education facilities available to refugee youth are designed as temporary solutions and do not meet long-term education needs, particularly given the lack of qualified teachers.
WUSC has been implementing remedial education programming in Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps and surrounding host communities in northern Kenya since 2011, in partnership with Windle International Kenya. This approach has proven effective in addressing critical systemic gaps, improving girls’ academic performance, and positively influencing parental and community attitudes towards girls’ education. With its innovative girls-only focus, the program has had the added benefit of creating a positive learning environment and allowing girls to build self-confidence.
Evidence shows that girls value the remedial education program because it allows them additional time outside of regular school to continue their studies. Often tasked with household and family responsibilities, it is not always possible for girls to study at home. Increased attendance and demand for remedial classes in both Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps has shown that parents and guardians are increasingly willing to allow girls to attend additional classes on weekends.
Remedial Education Program: An Innovation to Improve Girls’ Academic Performance in Refugee Contexts provides a detailed overview of the innovative remedial education program. The case study gives information on the implementation context and the remedial program model, and explores challenges faced and lessons learned to date. It also presents a personal impact story about a student who has benefitted from the program.
This case study is a collaboration between WUSC and Promising Practices in Refugee Education. Promising Practices in Refugee Education is a joint initiative of Save the Children, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, and Pearson. Launched in March 2017, the initiative set out to identify, document and promote innovative ways to effectively reach refugee children and young people with quality educational opportunities. This case study is one of more than twenty promising practices that were selected as part of the initiative.