New global partnership to tackle learning crisis for children displaced by conflict

By International Rescue Committee

New global partnership to tackle learning crisis for children displaced by conflict

Teach For All, a network of 60 independent organizations working to advance educational equity, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) announced their Leadership for Learning Through Displacement Partnership, to improve access to quality education for children forcibly displaced by conflict. The four-year, multi-million-dollar initiative kicks off with pilot programs in Bangladesh, Lebanon, and Poland, and will develop nearly 3,000 teachers to reach tens of thousands of students in its first phase.

Around the world, an estimated 35 million children are forcibly displaced. One million of them were born refugees, and on average, will remain displaced in refugee camps, informal settlements, urban settings, host communities, and classrooms lacking the necessary resources to support them for up to 20 years.

Children growing up in protracted crises face overwhelming obstacles, including poverty, hunger, discrimination, trauma, and lack of access to education. Displaced youth and children are not able to reach their potential, and when millions of children aren’t learning, it affects us all — perpetuating poverty, dividing societies, and weakening economies.

“Most education initiatives in protracted crises focus on access to any learning as the end goal, but there is still too little investment toward ensuring quality teaching and learning, and in generating the systemic changes to sustain these improvements,” said Wendy Kopp, Teach For All’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Teach For All’s network partners have proven the immediate impact and lasting systemic effects of their approach to developing outstanding, diverse teachers and leaders committed to ensuring all children thrive and develop as leaders who can shape a better future.”

The Leadership for Learning Through Displacement Partnership will expand and scale quality education and build strong local leadership for system change by recruiting and developing local teachers and providing ongoing professional development to thousands more educators already working in these systems. The initiative will also develop, test, refine and scale Education in Emergencies content for teacher training, and provide technical support in social-emotional learning, and conflict-sensitive teaching.

“Education systems succeed or fail based on the professional capacity of their teachers,” said David Miliband, President, and CEO of the IRC. “Ensuring that teachers can do their job effectively, even in the most challenging contexts, is an essential step toward safeguarding the right of every child to a quality education. Through this partnership, the IRC looks forward to bringing its evidence-based approaches to helping teachers develop professionally and in turn, positioning children to learn, thrive, and realize their potential.”

The partnership will focus on protracted displacement settings where both Teach For All and the IRC have established presence and local networks. The partnership will continue to expand after its pilot phase in Bangladesh, Lebanon, and Poland.