IRC Teams Meet to Discuss Needs of Afghan Students
“The goal is to help Afghan students and teachers integrate smoothly into the school system when they return to Afghanistan,” said Nicole Walden, the IRC’s education and child protection coordinator in Afghanistan. “Afghan refugee schools in Pakistan are using the Afghan curriculum. For Afghan families that will likely remain in Pakistan, we need to understand if this is going to provide them with the skills and opportunities that they will need in order to find employment or seek higher education in Pakistan. For returning families, we need to ensure that their studies are accredited by Afghan authorities when they decide to return.”
The IRC is meeting with education officials in both countries to advocate for accreditation of returning Afghan refugee students as well as for students who remain in Pakistan. Jumma Khan Khajjak, IRC’s women’s education program coordinator in Pakistan, says that many refugee students graduate from Pakistani educational institutions. “Unfortunately their certificates are not recognized by the Afghan ministry of education.” At the cross-border meeting, the third such meeting over the past six months, IRC staff also discussed ways to reintegrate Afghan refugee teachers trained by the IRC in Pakistan when they return home. The IRC has trained more than 8,000 such teachers since 1992.