What is the Refugee Education Integration Policy?
The Refugee Education Integration Policy, “REIP”, is a policy developed by the Kurdistan Regional Government with support from the UN Agencies and education partners to ensure that refugee and asylum seeker children have access to quality education on an equal basis as host community children.
The REIP aims to maintain the resilience of refugees and asylum seekers during long-term displacement, and improve opportunities for social cohesion with host communities, to allow all children and youth in crisis-affected areas to access opportunities for qualifications and skills acquisition that lead to self-actualization, civic participation, and economic inclusion.
When will the Refugee Education Integration Policy be implemented?
The REIP will be implemented gradually starting with the new academic school year 2023 / 2024. As of 26th June 2023, until August 2023, refugee and asylum seeker children attending primary school in grades 1, 2, 3, and 5 will be enrolled in Government schools and follow the Kurdish school curriculum taught in Kurdish.
Why is the Refugee Education Integration Policy rolled out?
The REIP focuses on integrating refugees and asylum seekers into the Kurdistan Region of Iraq by ensuring that children have the best possible start to integrate into Kurdish society. It allows children to learn the language by following the same curriculum as Kurdish children, foster relationships with Kurdish children by attending the same schools and have equal opportunities as Kurdish children.
Access to inclusive and equitable quality education in national system creates conditions in which children and youth can learn, thrive, and develop their potential; build individual and collective resilience; experience and negotiate peaceful coexistence; and contribute to their societies. Inclusion is the best option for refugees and asylum seekers children and youth and their hosting communities.
Inclusive and equitable access to quality education is necessary for self-reliance. Access to quality primary education will allow young refugee women and men to continue secondary education, enroll in technical and vocational education and training as well as higher education programmes, gaining additional qualifications for work.
How does the Refugee Education Integration Policy ensure non-discrimination of refugee and asylum seeker children?
The Kurdistan Regional Government with the support of the UN agencies and partner organizations will ensure that teachers, social workers, and school management will be trained on child protection and inclusion to ensure non-discrimination principles are applied. Social cohesion projects will also foster mutual understanding between displaced and host communities.
Primary school teachers are at the center of every child’s learning pathway. They provide access to the essential skillset every child requires to succeed in primary education and beyond. Teachers will be supported with relevant training, professional development, resources, pedagogical support, including psycho-social support needs to create safe, inclusive, and quality learning environments.
Teaching and learning will be supported through provision of sufficient teaching and learning resources, community-led programming that contributes to learning and motivation, and regular support and monitoring by the Directorates of Education and the Ministry of Education to meet and maintain standards in place in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
- How does the Refugee Education Integration Policy respect the cultural heritage and language of refugee and asylum seeker children?
Refugees and asylum seekers will continue to speak their own languages at home and Arabic classes can be attended by refugee and asylum seeker children outside of school. In Government schools, Arabic will be taught as part of the curriculum starting in grade 6, and extra-curricular activities focusing on learning Arabic can be supported by community structures inside and outside of camps.
Inclusion into the national education system provides more opportunities for refugee and asylum seeker children to integrate and fosters peaceful co-existence. Learning together with host community children helps refugee and asylum seeker children establish a social fabric with the host community and create mutual understanding for each other. The environment created is characterized by acceptance of each other and each other’s differences. Such acceptance is the fruitful ground that allows refugees to continue to practice their culture and heritage and provide their children with the opportunities to learn and foster the language of their country of origin.
Why does the Refugee Education Integration Policy not allow children to be taught the Kurdish Curriculum in Arabic?
The Refugee Education Integration Policy aims to support refugee and asylum seeker children to complete primary education with recognized certification that can lead to secondary and other post-primary educational opportunities as well as access to tertiary education, vocational trainings, and livelihoods. Following the Kurdish curriculum with Kurdish as the language of instruction increases these opportunities and sets the foundation for successful integration.
How does the roll-out of the Refugee Education Integration Policy support parents in supporting their children with their Kurdish school work?
The Kurdistan Regional Government with the support of UN agencies and education partners will support offering Kurdish classes to parents as part of the roll-out of the REIP. Such classes will be free of charge and open to all parents who enroll their children in Government schools in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
How does the roll-out of the Refugee Education Integration Policy support children to succeed in school despite their language disadvantages?
The Kurdistan Regional Government with the support of UN agencies and education partners will train teachers in integration approaches and offer support through language classes, catch-up classes, and remedial classes for refugee and asylum seeker children who need additional support.
What effect does the Refugee Education Integration Policy have on the recognition of school documentation outside of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq?
The Refugee Education Integration Policy promotes access to formal education in the Government education system of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. As such, all school diplomas received are recognized internationally and within Iraq and facilitate easier access to secondary and tertiary education, vocational training, and formal employment.
How does the Refugee Education Integration Policy solve the issue of equalization for those who attended school in the country of origin but cannot access documentation?
As part of the REIP roll-out, the Kurdistan Regional Government will develop an evaluation mechanism to access the skills and knowledge of children without education documentation. The results will be used to determine in which school grade of Government schools in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq they can be enrolled.
How does the Refugee Education Integration Policy solve the problem of transportation to school?
Refugee and asylum seeker children will be able to enroll in Government schools in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq that are closer to their area of residence, thus, reducing the need for transportation support. For the academic school year 2023 / 2024 and based on need, transportation support provided by Education partners will continue for children who live more than 5km from the nearest school.
Will students attending 6th to 12th grade be included in the roll-out of the Refugee Education Integration Policy during the academic year 2023 / 2024?
The Refugee Education Integration Policy is being rolled out gradually focusing first on access to Government schools in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for students attending primary level education in grades 1 to 5. Students attending 6th to 12th-grade education will continue to attend Government schools but follow the Kurdish curriculum taught in Arabic, the so-called parallel system.
How does the Refugee Education Integration Policy address the issue of out of school children and children who dropped out of school?
Refugee and asylum seeker children who are out of school or who have missed substantial amounts of education will be provided with access to accredited non-formal pathways for example catch-up classes and formal pathways such as accelerated education programmes in order to facilitate their enrolment in formal education in appropriate grades in accordance with their age.
Where do children need to be registered to attend school under the Refugee Education Integration Policy?
Parents need to register their children in the school closest to their area of residence in accordance with the guidance provided by the respective Directorate of Education. For more information on the registration procedures for each grade please visit the Directorate of Education in your area of residence. You can find the relevant Directorate here.
What timelines needs to be respected to enroll children under the Refugee Education Integration Policy into the national school system for the academic school year 2023 / 2024?
The enrolment process starts in all the schools from 15 June 2023 until August 2023. Schools are receiving enrolment applications on Sundays and Wednesdays of each week.
What documentation is necessary to enroll children in the national school system for the academic school year 2023 / 2024 under the Refugee Education Integration Policy?
For more information on the registration procedures please consult the
What will happen to Refugee Teachers under the Refugee Education Integration Policy?
Refugee teachers will continue to teach grades 6 to 12 for the academic school year 2023 / 2024. The Kurdistan Regional Government, UN agencies and education partners will facilitate teacher training for refugee teachers who teach grades 1 to 5.
How will the Refugee Education Integration Policy address the shortcomings regarding school infrastructure, the gaps in quality of education in camp and urban settings, and ensure that host community children will not be disadvantaged?
The Refugee Education Integration Policy ensures that teachers have access to teaching materials and resources, training that gives them the confidence to deliver and assess learning, manage the conditions in classrooms with children who have been affected by conflict and displacement, and to request and direct community support for learning and extracurricular activities that contribute to student success and retention.
School infrastructure will be supported by the Kurdistan Regional Government, UN agencies and education partners. This support includes classroom expansion and maintenance as well as construction of 3 schools. The support will prioritize host community schools with high enrolment numbers for refugee and asylum seeker children.
Where can I address my questions and concerns regarding the Refugee Education Integration Policy and school enrolment?
You can visit the Directorate of Education in your area of residence. You can find the relevant Directorate here and consult the “Back to Learning” information provided here.
You can also reach out to Education partners INTERSOS and NRC with the contact details below.
You can visit the Directorate of Education in your area of residence.
|Erbil||Tarbea street close to medicine street|
|Sulaymaniyah||Sulkaimanya Sarwary Street|
|Dohuk||GDOE- Infront of Azadi main hospital DoE Sumel next to Sumel General hospital|
You can also reach out to Education partners INTERSOS and NRC under the contact details provided.
|Erbil||0751 741 6747 0751 140 6552 0751 801 4582 (WhatsApp) 0751 846 8297 (WhatsApp)|
|Sulaymaniyah||0754 001 0800|
|Dohuk||0750 200 5416 0750 200 5418|