At the end of July, EDT and IIEP-UNESCO, with the support of UNHCR, held a highly successful knowledge workshop in Uganda – the culmination of a key research project into the management of teachers of refugees.
The event brought together ministerial delegates from Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, along with representatives from UNHCR and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD.) It offered the opportunity for delegates to learn from one another and to share experiences related to the inclusion of teachers of refugees within national education systems.
It was very insightful to interact with colleagues in the region and hear suggestions and recommendations on the good practices for teacher management in refugee settings – delegate
To maximise engagement and see inclusion in action, the event was held in the Kyaka II refugee settlement, a four-hour drive from the capital, Kampala. Holding the event in the refugee settlement enabled delegates to experience the reality of refugees in Uganda, and allowed school visits to speak to teachers, school leaders and school management committees within a refugee setting.
“The idea of having it in the settlement was brilliant,” explained one of the delegates. “It brought the picture to life of how primary schools are, interacting with head teachers and school management committees brought the image to life.”
Around 40 delegates attended the workshop, with key representatives from IGAD, the Ethiopian Ministry of Education and Refugee and Returnee Service, the Ugandan Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and Office of the Prime Minister, and the Kenyan Ministry of Education and Teacher Service Commission, as well as representatives from UNHCR at both national and regional levels.
We were honoured to welcome the participation of Mugisha Annet Kajura, Uganda’s Assistant Commissioner for Primary Teacher Education, and Constance Alezuyo, Coordinator of the Education Response Plan Secretariat for Refugees and Host Communities, as well as sustained engagement from the District Education Officer and the Chief Administrative Office from Kyegegwa District Local Government. For a full list of participants, please click here.
The two-day event featured collaborative, participatory workshops in the mornings, followed by school visits in the afternoons. On day one, selected participants shared knowledge about the inclusion of refugee teachers into national education systems in their own countries. This led to engaging discussions and a range of questions as delegates learned firsthand about similarities and differences in the way that polices around such inclusion were enacted. Participants then split off into groups for the afternoon sessions, in which they visited schools in Buliti, Bukere and Sweswe to interview teachers.
The following morning, delegates worked in mixed-country groups to share progress in areas related to teacher management, including recruitment, teacher professional development, working conditions, policy, data and finance. The afternoon visit then provided an opportunity to interview Teacher Management Committees and Parent Teacher Associations to find out more about their role in teacher management in Uganda.
Delegates were highly pleased with the opportunity to meet with teachers and school management groups as part of the event. As one delegate explained: “The field experience, interaction with teachers and school structures… [I] am sure provided a good learning experience.”
In the coming weeks, EDT and IIEP-UNESCO will be sharing insights from the event, specifically relating to furthering the inclusion of teachers of refugees in the region. High-level takeaways from the event indicated the need for East African countries to move forward with increased levels of collaboration, to ensure the availability of sufficient funding to meet the needs of teachers in refugee settings, and to involve a wide range of actors in teacher management.
We were delighted to co-host this important event and would like to thank IGAD and the Governments of Ethiopia and Kenya for enabling participants to take part in the workshop. We would particularly like to thank the Government of Uganda for enabling this event to take place in the Kyaka II refugee settlement and for welcoming delegates so warmly, as well as UNHCR Uganda for their sustained support and engagement and for facilitating the school visits. Finally, we would like to thank Dubai Cares for acknowledging the importance of teacher management in refugee settings.
Our work on teacher management in refugee settings has been undertaken in conjunction with IIEP-UNESCO, with funding from Dubai Cares. In addition to a series of films on refugee teachers, we have published three key reports and accompanying policy briefs to date – one on Kenya, one on Ethiopia, and one on Jordan. A further report – on Uganda – is due to be published in Autumn 2023. To find out more, please contact Helen West (email@example.com) or Donvan Amenya (firstname.lastname@example.org).