Providing education for migrants and refugees, who are deprived of it, is a moral obligation of those responsible and a duty of all individuals and communities, HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohamed Abdul Wahed Ali al-Hammadi, Chairman of Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science has said.
This came during the event to the mark the launch of the global education monitoring report 2019, organised by the Education Ministry on Monday on migration, displacement, and education.
Panel discussion (below)
HE al-Hammadi said that the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani firmly believes that education is a human right and a necessity for achieving sustainable development. He said this has enabled education to gain support at all levels in Qatar.
The minister noted the progress made by Qatar on meeting the fourth goal of sustainable development.
He said, for early childhood education, the enrollment rate for kindergartens increased by 18.2%, healthy growth and education for children under five rose to 92.9%, adult literacy rate reached 98.5%.
The minister said that all schools have also completed the facilities, technical needs, and laboratories required to create a 100% serious learning environment, as well as the preparation and rehabilitation of teachers before service and achieved full equality between genders in all stages of public education.
HE al-Hammadi said the global education monitoring report includes increasing numbers of migrants and displaced people in the world, which is increasing day by day, with the number of migrants reaching about 763mn worldwide.
He said that the conflicts and wars in recent years have led to the displacement of nearly 40mn people, in addition to 19mn due to natural disasters.
The minister said these numbers are facing serious challenges and difficult environmental conditions affecting their access to good education and added that these challenges make it difficult to classify these migrants in terms of number, age and school stages they were in before migrating from their country.
It is also difficult to classify the curriculum they will study.
HE al-Hammadi stated that the global education monitoring report 2019 addresses the mechanism of providing quality education, including teachers and school environment, in addition to enhancing diversity and developing skills among immigrant and refugee students with multiple classes, languages, and cultures.
The minister also stressed that Qatar has taken the lead in this field, in view of its conviction and awareness of its humanitarian duty and to help countries achieve the development goals as part of the global partnership for the achievement of the goals of the Sustainable Development Plan.
He noted that Qatar had since long time supported and provided education to millions of children, migrant students, and refugees throughout the world.
The minister noted the launch of several initiatives in this area, including QUEST to educate and train 400,000 Syrian refugees inside Syria and in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey for three years at a cost of over $100mn.
He added that 'Educate a child' initiative launched by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser since 2012, has achieved education for the most marginalised groups in the world and has provided education to 10mn children in the world, as well as 'Al Fakhoora' initiative to ensure that young people have a good education in Gaza and West Bank.
Furthermore, the minister stated that Qatar has provided millions of dollars to enable UNRWA to support education projects in Palestine, and ROTA initiative has also contributed to providing basic and qualitative education for primary and secondary school students in Asia and the Middle East to ensure a better future for children in poor and affected countries by conflict and disaster.
HE al-Hammadi added that the most recent of these initiatives was the pledge made by the Amir, to provide quality education to 1mn girls around the world by 2021, during his participation in the round table held last September on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York.
He said that there's a need of a comprehensive approach to enhancing the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education to ensure that all immigrant and refugee groups have access to quality education and are able to move from formal to lifelong education through educational software and means of electronic communication.
Meanwhile, Director of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report 2019, Manos Antoninis spoke about the report and made a presentation in this regard, addressing migration and displacement issues from the perspective of teachers and education administrators who face the reality of diversity in classrooms, school courtyards and local communities, labour markets and societies.
Antoninis said that education systems in the world are united in terms of the commitment to ensure quality, equitable and inclusive education and to promote a life-long opportunity for all.
The report contains several recommendations, including the protection of the right to education of migrants and displaced persons, the need to integrate them into the national education system, the importance of harnessing their capacities, understanding and planning for their needs, including the history of migration and displacement in education, and the numbers of immigrant and refugee teachers to address diversity.
During the event, a panel discussion was held on the report with the participation of a number of officials, experts, and stakeholders from Qatar and beyond.