UNRWA schools in Jordan

Teacher management in refugee settings

Global sind 70,8 Millionen Menschen Vertriebene und ohne Bleibe („displaced people“); dies ist die höchste Anzahl seit dem zweiten Weltkrieg. Etwa 25,9 Millionen davon sind auf der Flucht und die Hälfte davon sind Kinder. Damit entstehen völlig neue Anforderungen an Bildung und eine Form von Bildungssystem, sowohl organisatorisch als auch inhaltlich und in der konkreten Praxis. Wie kann das Recht auf Bildung und eines der VN-Nachhaltigkeitsziele (Sustainable Development Goals, SDG) für Menschen auf der Flucht gerade in den Refugee Camps einigermaßen umgesetzt werden? Welche Erfordernisse ergeben sich daraus an die dort tätigen Lehrer und Lehrerinnen und wie kann dabei überhaupt strukturiert und geplant gearbeitet werden?

Das International Institute for Educational Plannung in der UNESCO und der Education Development Trust, finanziert von der Open Society Foundation, haben eine Studie zur Situation von Lehrplanung und Schuldbildung in den UNRWA-Schulen in Jordanien veröffentlicht.

“In fact, Goal 4 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which seeks to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’, remains far out of reach for many of the world’s refugees. According to a recent report from the International Rescue Committee (IRC), refugees are largely excluded from SDG-related data collection, monitoring frameworks, and national reporting and development plans. As of 2018, only 63% and 24% of refugees had access to primary and secondary schooling respectively. There is therefore an urgent need to improve the equitable provision of quality education that is inclusive of refugees.

Effective teacher management is a key policy lever for ensuring inclusive, equitable and quality education systems. Research has shown that the quality of the teaching workforce is the most important factor affecting student learning among those that are open to policy influence. In crisis and displacement situations, the role of teachers is particularly significant; they are the ‘key to successful inclusion’ and are sometimes the only educational resource available to students. Teachers are a source of continuity in students’ disrupted lives; they play a key role in developing their social and emotional skills and in protecting and supporting their scholastic success. However, teachers working in refugee contexts are unable to play this crucial role without appropriate support and training to be able to handle the often overcrowded, mixed-age and multilingual classrooms. Although teachers and teaching practices have received increasing attention in education in emergencies research in the last few years, most of the data available about teachers of refugees are limited to numbers of teachers, qualifications and certification, and compensation. Indeed, it is understandable that these data are cited most often in the discourse, considering that mass shortages, particularly of qualified teachers, are a significant problem ‘across displacement settings, both at the onset of crisis and in cases of protracted displacement’.

More research is needed – particularly from the perspectives of teachers in refugee settings – to identify the many challenges they face and to support the development of strategies to overcome them. Challenges include a lack of appropriate preparation to provide psychosocial support and practise self-care, uncertain career opportunities, financial and social insecurity, language barriers, gender inequality, and a lack of coordination between the many non-governmental and governmental actors involved. As more emergencies become protracted crises and refugee populations continue to grow, there is an urgent need for evidence to guide the development and implementation of policies for the effective management of teachers working with the populations affected. Such research should pay attention to the dynamics and context of the displacement crisis, focusing on teachers in refugee settings rather than teachers of refugees, as not only can the global refugee crisis change from day to day with the outbreak of new crises, including climate-related emergencies, but sometimes host communities are just as vulnerable, if not more so, than their refugee peers. In other words, research is needed that will align with the ‘whole society approach’ advocated by the international community and support planning for the society as a whole instead of planning in parallel for the host community and the refugee community” S. 11-12.

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