Afghanistan education  response

REUK are responding to the situation in Afghanistan

Click here to visit our Education Welcome page, which includes details about our welcome pack in Pashto and Dari, as well as useful resources for young refugees who have recently arrived in the UK. 

Over the past ten years, REUK has worked closely with hundreds of Afghan children and young people in the UK, as well as in Afghanistan itself. We are mobilising quickly and carefully to meet their unique needs and the needs of those supporting them.  

Briefing: supporting young Afghan's education and wellbeing: 

Young refugees are no different to other children, and make invaluable contributions to our society. We all deserve the opportunity to pursue our dreams. This World Refugee Day, we all need to protect the rights of young refugees. This World Refugee Day, we all need to be kind; because together, we make better worlds.

You can read the letter on the Unicef website, here:

The featured picture in this post is courtesy of Unicef and entitled 'Unity is Strength' and was drawn by 12-year old Kaninica from India

Priority 1: Meaningful access to education for newly arrived Afghan children and young people at all levels must be a core focus of the resettlement scheme.

REUK is pleased to publish this report, which highlights key urgent policy priorities for supporting the education and wellbeing of young Afghans in light on the ongoing resettlement of Afghan children and young people to the UK.

Policy recommendations are made for the Home Office, the Department for Education, education institutions, voluntary sector organisations and funders.

​​Priority 2: Young Afghan refugees and asylum seekers already in the UK must not be overlooked, and supporting their psychosocial wellbeing is critical.

Priority 3: Young Afghan care-leavers returned to Kabul in recent years must be counted among the top and urgent priorities for the UK government’s resettlement schemes.

They are facing significant anxiety and concern about the lives of their family in Afghanistan, and uncertainty about their futures. This is compounding existing mental health conditions which have already been exacerbated by COVID-19. Afghan young people must be supported to access psychosocial support services at this difficult time. They must be granted immediate refugee status regardless of previous decisions, and rules should be changed so that their parents and siblings are eligible for family reunion.

Education is protective; it is how these children will begin to rebuild their lives and look towards their futures. Refugee children and their families must have access to clear information about the UK education system. Educational settings must be adequately resourced and supported to provide a welcoming, nurturing and safe environment for these children to thrive.

Their status as a forced returnee is posing a risk to their lives, and their access to resettlement must be prioritised as part of the UK resettlement scheme this year.

Please join our emergency efforts to support as many Afghan children and young people as we possibly can.

2) Providing practical, emotional and psychosocial support to the dozens of Afghan children and young people we are currently working with and who we have supported in the past

Dozens of young people are getting in touch in great distress and our trained support staff are doing everything they can to be with them at this time and help them navigate this challenging situation.

REUK has a long-standing and deep relationship with Afghan young people both in the UK and in Afghanistan. Please join us as we respond with love and determination to support them during this emergency.

3.

REUK's initial and ongoing response to the situation in Afghanistan  

1) Ensuring that every child and young person arriving from Afghanistan is given information and resources to thrive in the UK.

We are producing a welcome pack for newly-arrived young Afghans which explains in Pashto and Dari how they can access the education and wellbeing services they so desperately need. 

As the resettlement situation becomes clearer we will provide schools and colleges with bespoke training to understand the unique challenges that young Afghan refugees are facing. We are also looking to set up additional mentoring hubs around the country so that young Afghans can be matched with dedicated volunteer mentors to walk alongside them at this incredibly difficult time.

Afghanistan and REUK

Young refugees are no different to other children, and make invaluable contributions to our society. We all deserve the opportunity to pursue our dreams. This World Refugee Day, we all need to protect the rights of young refugees. This World Refugee Day, we all need to be kind; because together, we make better worlds.

You can read the letter on the Unicef website, here:

The featured picture in this post is courtesy of Unicef and entitled 'Unity is Strength' and was drawn by 12-year old Kaninica from India

Since REUK set up 10 years ago we have worked with hundreds of young Afghans, many of whom have been deeply involved in who we are as an organisation. Beyond our programmes, Afghan young people have sat on and chaired our Youth Advisory Board, represented us at conferences and spoken passionately about our collective work. We feel their pain right now and are praying and doing everything we can to help them and their families. We also fear and pray for every young person returned to Afghanistan in the past few years. 

Now is not the time to ask them to comment on the situation or to expain to our supporters and friends what needs to happen next. Instead we encourage you to read the stories they have written in the past and to understand the journey they have been on so far.  

How to support Afghan children and young people at this crucial time:

Young refugees are no different to other children, and make invaluable contributions to our society. We all deserve the opportunity to pursue our dreams. This World Refugee Day, we all need to protect the rights of young refugees. This World Refugee Day, we all need to be kind; because together, we make better worlds.

You can read the letter on the Unicef website, here:

The featured picture in this post is courtesy of Unicef and entitled 'Unity is Strength' and was drawn by 12-year old Kaninica from India

3) Join us in calling on the government to:

 

  • Abandon the 'resettlement-only plans' set out in the Nationality and Borders Bill

  • Grant immediate asylum to Afghans already waiting for status in the UK 

  • Release all Afghan nationals from detention

  • Expand the family reuinion route so that Afghans can be joined by other members of their family

  • Join the international effort to evacuate and resettle Afghan nationals 

These recommendations are based on a letter we signed with over 100 other organisations to the Home Secretary. You can read it here.  

1) Make a donation to our emergency response by clicking this link.

2) Sign up to our newsletter to follow our support updates including useful links for those working directly with young Afghans. If appropriate we'll also share some words from the many young Afghans at the heart of REUK who want to be vocal about the situation. 

Welcome pack

These packs include key information about the education system and how to access it, a welcome to school and classrooms for children and lots of other sources of support, including helpful charities, resources, courses and interpretation services. If you would like to order physical copies, please email us at hello@reuk.org

Policy 

recommendations 

This briefing, published by REUK in September 2021, highlights key urgent policy priorities for supporting the education and wellbeing of young Afghans in light on the ongoing resettlement of Afghan children and young people to the UK.

Policy recommendations are made for the Home Office, the Department for Education, education institutions, voluntary sector organisations and funders.

Supporting Afghan children in schools 

This section is for education professionals in the UK who are supporting young Afghans. Read Azad's blog or listen to Salma's voice note to understand the important differences between education in Afghanistan and the UK.   

A brief experience of the education system in Afghanistan.

By Azad.

I am writing as a young person who has the experience of going to school in Afghanistan and have also the experience of education in the UK.

 

Both these experiences have given me the ability to distinguish educational system both in the UK and Afghanistan. To give you a concise idea that how educational system works in Afghanistan. I will try to walk you through a day in the school back in Afghanistan.

 

Usually, the school day is short, and it is not more than four hours a day. A student starts their day by coming to school, most of the time not having a break, listen to the teacher for whole four hours.

 

There is less teamwork provided by teacher in the class. On the same time, you don’t have the opportunity to engage with opposite gender. You sit in single gender class where the method of teaching is more teacher centred. This means that you have less opportunity to engage with teacher or with other students. This method will not allow you to criticise or question what you have been told by your teacher.

 

Your class is not provided by any IT system and everything should be written by hand. So, students are less likely to engage with IT to support their studies. Also, the interaction and relationship between you and your teacher is quite strict, tough and closed. Teachers must respected and shouldn’t call by their name. Rather, you should use the title Mr, Ms, or the word Respected Teacher. You will leave the class and be told to memorise the lesson for tomorrow. 

 

Whereas, in the UK, the method of teaching is student centred, class are mix gender, you have access to IT and you have the opportunity to easily engage with your teacher. Teachers here should remember that refugee students from Afghanistan are vulnerable and need more support in time to adapt to the new system. They need to be provided with IT knowledge, with the skill of teamworking and be supported in terms of engaging with other students. Teachers should be more approachable towards them. This will give them the opportunity to interact back with the teachers.

What are the differences between the education systems in the UK and Afghanistan? By Salma.

hello@reuk.org
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