Education for Refugee Children in Uganda - Ash Hartwell

CIE faculty member Ash Hartwell spent two weeks in November 2017 working in Uganda.  Ash was asked by the USAID Mission in Uganda to represent AID on an inter-agency working group tasked with developing a plan for providing education for the massive influx of refugees from South Sudan into Uganda.


Ash is the Principal Investigator for the Education in Crisis and Conflict Network project at CIE which is supporting a network of research, forums, and training for dealing with such situations.  One example of this work is the development, through the international Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG), of The Guide to Accelerated Education Principles, with CIE students Jenn Flemming and Kayla Boisvert. Accelerated Education provides a path into formal education for over-age children and youth, and is a key strategy for addressing the aspirations of refugee youth.


Education Cannot Wait in close cooperation with the Uganda Ministry of Education, UNHCR, other UN agencies, the World Bank, NGOs and donor partners, has crafted a collective agreement to develop a comprehensive response plan for the education needs of refugees and host-communities, which is expected to be launched in January 2018.


Uganda has received over 1.3 million refugees from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda – the highest numbers of refugees in Africa and the third largest in the world today.   Fully half of these refugees are children.


Refugee children are encouraged to study with Ugandan children in regular schools but the national education sector is itself hindered by underlying poverty, lack of teaching capacities, poor infrastructure, overcrowded classes, poor learning outcomes and girls’ limited school enrolment.


While in Uganda Ash worked with Mark Meassick (M.Ed. 1989 ), who is the USAID Mission Director, and also had a chance to meet with Satomi Kamei (Ed.D. 2016), who is the JICA representative based in West Nile region working to strengthen the capacity of local district government.