6 million refugee children have no school to go —UN

The United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said over 6 million of school-age refugee children around the world have no school to go to.

Filippo Grandi, UN high commissioner for refugees, warned that the problem could lead to further conflicts if it was left unaddressed.

Most of these 3.7 million children who are not getting a primary or secondary education live in developing countries.

The agency said some 900,000 of them were Syrians.

According to the report  UNHCR published ahead  next week’s UN refugee summit in New York, lack of basic schooling affected refugees’ chances in later life.

“Only one in 100 refugees manages to enter a university, compared to one in three among ordinary youth,” Grandi said.

“All too often, education for refugee children is considered a luxury, a non-essential optional extra after food, water, shelter and medical care.

“This lack of schooling can be hugely damaging, not only for individuals, but also for their families and societies, perpetuating cycles of conflict and yet more forced displacement.’’

He appealed to donors to focus on the issue.

Regions with low education levels are more likely to experience conflict.

Grandi acknowledged that poor host countries were often struggling to educate their own native population and that an influx of refugees could exacerbate the problem.

Report says over of the world’s refugee children that are out of school live in these seven countries: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan and Turkey.

In Turkey and Lebanon, two of the main host countries for Syrian refugees, only about 40 per cent of Syrian children attend schools.