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05 Jul 2022

5 July 2022: Event: Refugee teachers and teachers of refugees

From 1:30–3:00 p.m. CEST / 7:30–9:00 a.m. EST on 5 July 2022, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations will host the High-Level Political Forum “Refugee teachers and teachers of refugees: What does transformation look like?” This side event is a key milestone towards the Transforming Education Summit in September and aims to discuss what transformative approaches could look like with regards to the critical contributions that teachers of refugees and refugee teachers can make in the achievement of SDG4.

Register for the event

About the event

The objective of the session will be to reflect on and discuss the transformational changes proposed by the Teachers, Teaching and the Teaching Profession Action Track 3 for the September 2022 Transforming Education Summit through the lens of teachers in refugee contexts, including appointed and community teachers, and qualified, unqualified, national and refugee teachers.

The global community has invested considerable resources to research and problematize teacher workforce issues in crisis and non-crisis contexts so that transformative solutions that are contextually salient can be adopted.

Focusing on challenges, good practices and policy recommendations, speakers will specifically discuss what it means in refugee contexts to aim for:

  • An adequate number of qualified teachers
  • Adequate pre- and in-service professional development
  • Fair and dignified working, health and safety conditions
  • Teacher leadership and innovation that is recognized and supported
  • Recognition of the value of teachers’ contribution
  • Predictable and reliable funding for education in refugee contexts
  • A renewed social contract fit for education in the twenty-first century and inclusive of all teaching personnel

The side event will aim to answer what member states, the international community, regional education authorities, local actors, refugee and host communities need to do to fully harness the resource found in refugee and community teachers who play such vital roles in addressing the education needs of the most marginalized rural populations — both national and refugee.


Opening Remarks: Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations

The side event will be moderated by Ms. Sarah Dryden-Peterson, Associate Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of “Right Where We Belong – How Refugee Teachers and Students Are Changing the Future of Education”.

Speakers from the co-organising entities will feature:

  • Mr. Raouf Mazou, Assistant-High Commissioner for Operations, UNHCR
  • Ms. Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait (ECW)
  • Mr. Patrick Daru, Head of Operations – Skills and Employability Branch, ILO

The panel discussion will also benefit from the contributions of:

  • Education International (Speaker tbc.)
  • Refugee teachers from Kenya:
    • Ms. Lilian Timotaus Youhana, a Sudanese refugee residing in Kakuma Refugee Camp working as a teacher at Malakal primary school, where she started out as an untrained teacher and has sought since to develop herself and train to be a better educator.
    • Mr. Daniel Mahjoub, a teacher of Mathematics & Chemistry at Tumaini Girls Secondary School and actively involved in supporting girls in their studies and especially in STEM subjects


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