Thousands of refugees in Ethiopia are enrolled in schools across the country, according to new figures released by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Some 196,350 refugees are currently enrolled across different levels of education in Ethiopia, according to UNHCR. More than 60 percent (126,000) of refugees are enrolled in primary and secondary education while 3,000 refugees are attending tertiary levels, according to UNCHR. More than 30 percent of the refugee students are children enrolled in early childhood care and pre-school.
In January this year, UNHCR reported that between 2017 and 2018 around 7-in-10 primary school age refugee children in and outside refugee camps in Ethiopia had enrolled in formal education.
In recent years, Ethiopia has granted more rights to refugees to help improve their lives and in turn, help curb migration to Europe. In January 2019, the Ethiopian parliament passed a new law giving almost 1 million refugees the right to live and work outside the camps. The new law allows refugees to access primary education, obtain work permits and access financial services, such as banking. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, applauded Ethiopia’s new law calling it “one of the most progressive refugee policies in Africa”.
Ethiopia, which hosts the second largest refugee population in Africa, according to UNHCR, has been investing in measures to better integrate refugees into the country. For example, in November 2017, the Ethiopian government launched the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) to support the integration of refugees and improve their access to basic social services and economic opportunities. In December 2018, Ethiopia announced plans to close all 27 refugee camps over the next ten years to help integrate refugees into host communities.
Ethiopia is also working with European governments to improve the lives of refugees in Ethiopia. For example, at the end of 2018, the UK signed a GBP 115 million grant aimed at creating 100,000 jobs in Ethopia, 30 per cent of which will be allocated for refugees.