Back to Learning campaign is launched in KRI to improve access to quality education for out-of-school children and welcome Syrian refugee children into the public school system [EN/AR/KU] – Iraq

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Starting this year, the Refugee Education Integration Policy (REIP) was introduced to help Syrian refugee children access quality, inclusive and sustainable education through the public system and to foster their integration and their participation in community life in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Erbil, 20 September 2022 – On the occasion of the new school year in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), the Ministry of Education of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), together with UNICEF, the High -United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Save the Children and education partners have launched the “Back to Learning Campaign” to further improve access for out-of-school Iraqi children and welcome refugee children quality education in public schools. The campaign reaffirms the commitment of UN agencies and their partners to support the implementation of the Refugee Education Integration Policy (REIP) which was adopted by the KRG at the end of 2021. Under the slogan: “Education for all for a better future!”, the launch 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 H.E. Alan Hama Sa’eed Salih, Minister of Education of the KRG, during the event, emphasizing 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 enroll and study in any public school in the KRI. The KRI Department of Education, in cooperation with Education Departments, schools and education partners, will ensure access to education for all children in a welcoming learning environment. The children will be taught in the officially recognized languages ​​(Sorani, Badini, Assyrian, Turkmen, English and Arabic) in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

“Every child has the right to education, formal, non-formal, online or in person, regardless of background or situation. UNICEF wants all children to be in school and learn. This also applies to refugees and therefore the implementation of the mainstreaming refugee education policy will provide a better future for refugee children. UNICEF will continue to support the KRI Ministry of Education in implementing this policy, committing to providing all children with a quality education,” said Teija Vallandingham, Chief Education Officer of the KRI. UNICEF in Iraq. “The inclusion of refugee children in the education system is a step towards an inclusive society.”

“It is our collective responsibility to make every effort to pave the way to a brighter future for displaced children. The Kurdistan Regional Government Ministry of Education is showing great leadership in inviting refugee children to enroll in public schools and qualified refugee teachers to participate in these education efforts. The KRI is showing the region and beyond what it means to welcome refugees,” said Jean-Nicolas Beuze, UNHCR Representative in Iraq. “Many refugee students from KRI were born here after their parents fled their homes in northeast Syria especially ten years ago. Learning alongside their Iraqi Kurdish friends will give them new opportunities to create bonds that will 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 have a potential and a better future’ – which can be made possible by bringing them school and learning center throughout this back to learning campaign.As a leading child rights organization, Save the Children believes that education is a fundamental right of children, regardless of their ethnic, religious, migration background, ability/disability status and gender.Over the years, Save the Children has supported the right to education for thousands of children, including refugees, host communities and internally displaced Iraqis by Daesh violence,” said Rizgar Al-Jaff, Acting Country Director of Save the Children Iraq. education, United Nations agencies, national and international NGOs organizations, must continue their efforts to ensure that all children, without discrimination, from all corners of Iraq, have access to quality education.

In addition to the REIP, the Back to Learning campaign aims to tackle the main factors that have led to children dropping out of school. The first objective is to ensure that out-of-school Iraqi children and adolescents are identified and have access to physical or virtual learning facilities/platforms through formal or non-formal education. The campaign then addresses other social, cultural, economic, political, behavioral or personal issues that hinder their access to education. Education sector authorities will be made aware of new and emerging issues that have impacted children’s access to education and excluded them from schools. To monitor these achievements, an online system will record the necessary information on these children and adolescents, the reasons for their non-enrollment and the progress made in supporting the children until their enrollment in formal or non-formal education. About 33,000 out-of-school Iraqi children and adolescents are expected to be reached this year during the campaign.

To bridge this learning gap, UN agencies and their partners will continue to support the KRI Ministry of Education to provide access to education for all children, including Syrian refugee children and adolescents. .

Notes to Editors:

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. In more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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 and Advocacy, UNICEF Iraq,

+964 7827820238, [email protected]

Monica Awad, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Iraq, tel. : +964 7809258545, [email protected]

About UNHCR

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, protects people forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution. We work in over 130 countries, protecting millions of people by providing lifesaving support, protecting basic human rights and helping them build a better future.

For more information about UNHCR, please visit: http://www.unhcr.org

For more information on education services for refugees in Iraq, please visit: https://help.unhcr.org/iraq/en/rights-and-obligations/education/

Follow UNHCR in Iraq on Twitter (@UNHCRIraq), Facebook and Instagram

For more information please contact:

Firas Al-Khateeb, Spokesperson and Communications Officer, UNHCR Iraq,

[email protected]

Shaza Shekfeh, Associate Communications Officer, UNHCR Iraq

+964 770 494 6384 [email protected]

About Save the Children

Save the Children has worked in Iraq since 1991. We are one of the largest international NGOs working in over 100 countries around the world, addressing the humanitarian, recovery and development needs of children and their families with the belief that every child deserves a future full of opportunities.

We run integrated child-focused programs in Ninewah, Dohuk, Kirkuk, Salah-addin, Anbar, Basra, Diyala and Baghdad

For more information on Save the Children Iraq. (www.iraq.savethechildren.net)

For more information please contact:

Noor Mousa, Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator, SCI IRAQ.

[email protected]

009647511240100

Nirali Mehta, Director of Program Development and Quality – Iraq. SCI Iraq.

[email protected]

+964 751 124 0235

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