The majority of South Sudanese refugee children in Uganda are either out-of-school or attending overcrowded schools lacking teachers and books required for effective learning. The report warns that an entire generation of refugee children could be deprived of the education they need to rebuild their lives. The report argues that, while the Government of Uganda (GoU) has responded to the refugee crisis with extraordinary generosity, the international response has been grossly inadequate, leaving GoU and vulnerable host communities in West Nile to shoulder the burden of responding to the refugee crisis. Moreover, international donors fail to prioritize education, funding is overwhelmingly directed to short-term projects, and there is poor coordination. This report sets out a plan of action which could deliver quality universal pre-primary, primary and secondary education for South Sudanese refugee children in Uganda at an average cost of US$132 million per annum for three and a half years, equivalent to US$152 per child annually. Around one-third of the proposed spending would be directed towards the strengthening of systems for host communities. Proposed expenditures include: (a) construction of 304 new pre-primary and primary school sites; (b) construction of 110 new (semi-permanent) secondary schools; (c) provision of reading materials, text books and school supplies; (d) recruitment and payment of over 4,00 trained pre-primary caregivers; (e) employment of 5,307 primary and secondary teachers; and (f) recruitment, training and accreditation of 750 primary teachers from South Sudan.
The reports suggests there are opportunities to tap new sources of finance including: IDA’s regional sub-window for refugees; Global Partnership for Education (GPE); Education Cannot Wait: the fund for education in emergencies (ECW); and bilateral aid donors. The Education Commission, chaired by the UN’s Special Envoy for Global Education, could play a role in coordination. The report argues that predictable finance is a necessary but insufficient condition for universal refugee education, and outlines priority reforms. The report argues that Uganda has kept its side of the bargain by implementing the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), and now the international community needs to provide support at the scale envisaged under the CRRF and warranted by the South Sudanese refugee crisis. Failure to do so, it argues, will put the wider CRRF process at risk.