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Educating IDCs During Crises: The Demand- Side Perspective

The challenges presented by limitations of both the supply of and demand for high-quality, forward-facing education are significant during situations of forced migration. Yet, education remains in high demand among the displaced. There is a growing trend in the documentation that recognizes this demand. Reports recently released (Save the Children and Norwegian Refugee Council 2014; World Vision 2014) support a 2012 statement by Gordon Brown (cited in James 2012) that summarizes the uniquely important and often underrecognized role that education plays for families affected by crisis:

When I talked to (families) about what they wanted most for their children, it was not shelter, although they needed it; not security, although they required it; not food, although they desperately wanted it; it was education for their children. (para 3)

If parents and children believe that the current opportunity and actual costs of paying for education in the present will have a benefit in the future, then they will make that investment (Kirk 2009; Dryden-Peterson and Jalbout 2013).

This remains the case in northern Syria where “certification and accreditation of learning is a key issue reported by students of the Syrian communities in opposition and contested areas of Syria over recent years” (Confidential Informant 2015). The UNHCR takes this sentiment a step further in stating that “.. .it is wasteful if education and training does not result in documented, official recognized certificates” (UNHCR 2003, 10).

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