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South Sudan: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ New Data Collection Tool helps improve refugee children access to education

UNHCR and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction of South Sudan today launched a new data collection and analysis tool, Refugees Education Information Management System (REMIS) that will help improve monitoring and planning of education programs for refugee children living in South Sudan.

Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugee children. Globally, only 61% of refugee children have access to education as compared to more than 91% for non-refugees. In South Sudan, gross enrolment rate for refugee children in primary school is 56% as compared to 68% for the host community.

“UNHCR’s approach to education of refugee children in South Sudan is anchored in ensuring the provision of education not as a peripheral stand-alone service, but rather as a core component of UNHCR’s refugee protection and solutions mandate,” UNHCR Deputy Representative Vincent Parker said at the launch ceremony, adding that refugee education data is not included in the South Sudan Education Management Information System hence refugee children remain largely invisible.

The new Refugee Education Management Information System is called to bridge the gap in refugee education data and help better plan activities and programs that promote the inclusion of refugee children and adolescents in the national education system, and allow them to benefit from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Moreover, the new data collection and analysis tool will also enable UNHCR to understand the extent to which its education program benefits children from host communities whose right to education should be equally upheld.

“The Ministry fully supports any initiative that allows refugees to go to school. For us it is not important whether the child is a refugee or not, as we are striving to ensure every child’s right to education,” Shadrack Chol Stephen, Director General of Alternative Education of the Ministry of General Education and Instruction said, addressing the audience.

The launch of the Refugee Education Management Information System was followed by a two-day training on practical application of the tool organized by UNHCR for 20 participants from the Ministry of Education and General Instruction, National Bureau of Statistics, Commission for Refugee Affairs, UN Agencies as well as UNHCR partners working in the area of refugee education.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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