|School of integration|
|Objectives ad results|
Supporting the refugee committees and increasing accessibility to a quality education in a process of integration between refugees and indigenous population in the Department of Nya Pende.
Since 2003, the Department of Nya Pende - located in southern Chad – has been hosting a large community of refugees (approximately 35,000 persons) from the Central African Republic, who are housed in three camps set up by the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The project aims at supporting refugees in the management of three schools in the camps of Nya Pende and integrating them into the national education system. At the same time, the projects aims at strengthening the quality of schools in the villages surrounding the refugee camps and raising the attendance rate of school-age children - particularly among girls - in the hope that education could be one of the main pathways for integration between local population and refugees.Problems to solve
The UNHCR promotes - as a sustainable long-term solution - the integration of the Central Africans in the south of Chad by pursuing a progressive replacement of the emergency funds with development funds. In this perspective, services such as health, education, Food Security - beforehand lavished by the UNHCR - are gradually moving under the responsibility and management of the refugee community through projects that support economic self-sufficiency and that are incorporated into the Chadian public system.
One of the major objectives of the project is the reinforcement of the Pupils’ Parents Associations (APE - Associations des Parents d'Élèves) in the camp schools, which have to contribute to the payment of teachers and have to cover huge managing costs of the three major school facilities (made by the UNHCR) under the supervision of the Ministry of National Education. In order to comply with international educational standards (dimension, students and teachers per class, materials, etc) the communities, - which for years become accustomed to a system of total assistance - need to get organized in order to raise funds through the implementation of income generating activities. There is strong resistance to overcome and a lack of organizational skills within the associations.
Moreover, there is a marked difference between these buildings and the schools of the rural villages - adjacent to the refugee camps, - which often are simple thatched buildings that house 100 students per class who sit on mats on the floor. Finally, there are low levels of awareness about the importance of school, especially for girls, who are destined for housework or marriages at an early age.