Education of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in the Context of COVID-19: The Education for Life Project in Uganda and South Sudan

published 15 March 2021 updated 7 January 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated education systems, communities, and economies across Africa and globally. The health crisis has seriously affected the education, health and well-being of refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Uganda, South Sudan and across the continent.

Girls and women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and there is a real risk that many girls and young women will be unable to go back to school due to pregnancy, early marriages, child labour and other challenges.

As this policy brief reveals, considerable efforts have been made by the Governments of Uganda and South Sudan to ensure that children and youth, including refugees and those displaced by conflict, continue to receive a quality education during and beyond the current crisis.

However, these efforts have been hindered by the unavailability of digital and related infrastructure for distance education. Teachers lack the necessary training, competences and support to deliver effective virtual teaching and learning. COVID-19, coupled with the digital divide and protracted crises, has widened inequalities.

This policy brief identifies the key challenges related to COVID-19 and the education of refugees and IDPs and goes on to proffer recommendations for tackling those challenges. We hope this policy brief will be a useful tool and resource to the Education for Life consortium members, education advocates and activists, policy makers and other stakeholders in our collective quest for inclusive equitable quality education for all.