Learning outside the classroom: non-formal refugee education in Uganda
Refugees from the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi have fled to Uganda for the last 15 years from some of the most severe and protracted conflicts in history. Many of these refugees have grown up without formal schooling because of the conditions in their home countries, or had their schooling interrupted by their displacement. When they arrive in Uganda, they may suffer from trauma induced by their displacement, their presence in a foreign and sometimes xenophobic environment, and their lack of financial resources. Compounding matters, they are likely to migrate with little education or professional skills, leaving them in weak position to cope with their displacement and survive in Uganda. The formal educational opportunities that refugees have in Uganda are little or no better than in their countries of origin. Refugees suffer frequently from inadequate access to formal schooling, despite the country having one of the more successful universal primary and secondary education systems (MoES 2001; World Bank 2002). According to Bethke and Braunschweig (2004), less than 10 per cent of refugee students in Uganda are enrolled in secondary school.