UN urges more efforts to integrate migrant children in schools
PARIS: The UN on Tuesday called on countries to step up efforts to integrate the growing numbers of refugee and migrant children worldwide into their education systems. The number of school-age migrant and refugee children has risen 26 percent since 2000 to some 18 million, the UNESCO cultural agency wrote in its 2019 Global Education Monitoring report. Around half the world’s forcibly displaced people are under 18, and often have little if any access to public education systems in the countries where they are seeking asylum. Even if they are not excluded outright, host countries often lack the resources to offer language classes and ensure the integration of refugee children. Lebanon and Jordan, with the largest number of refugees per capita as people fled the civil war in neighboring Syria, have imposed separate morning and afternoon classes for citizens and refugees. Even wealthy Germany would need 42,000 new teachers to properly educate the refugee children taken in as part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy enacted in 2015, which has since been sharply curtailed, the report found.