Protecting the Future

Students in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, study outside and spaced apart to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The closure of schools due to COVID-19 has had significant impacts on students and learners around the world. The disruption to education is unprecedented. Even before the pandemic refugee children were twice as likely to be out of school, but current circumstances put them at a particular disadvantage and threaten to erode gains in access to education for refugees and displaced people.

Students and learners around the world are being impacted by school closures and the experience of COVID-19. Refugees and forcibly displaced people are facing heightened challenges and disruptions in accessing quality education and opportunities for a hopeful future. Lack of access to internet, technology, and stable electricity are just some of the challenges refugee learners are facing.

For those who are particularly vulnerable to barriers in accessing education, like displaced children with disabilities and girls, even greater challenges exist. According to the 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report, responses to the COVID-19 crisis have not paid enough attention to inclusion of all learners, with only 40% of low-income countries supporting learners at risk of exclusion, including those with disabilities. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, estimates that 20 percent of refugee girls enrolled in secondary school are at significant risk of dropping out for good, while the Malala Fund estimates that half of all refugee girls will not return when classrooms reopen.

The future of refugees must be protected.

An opportunity exists to ensure significant strides that have been made in creating access to education are not lost. During the current crisis, JRS is finding unique ways to ensure that displaced children have the opportunity to learn and thrive.

And, you can help.

Take Action

Funding for refugee education is more important now than ever. Write to your member of Congress to ask them to support Education Cannot Wait.

Join Us

Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 2pm ET – for a live virtual panel discussion addressing access to education for refugees during COVID-19, the ways in which JRS is adapting its educational programs, and how you can take action to help protect the future we all share.

Watch live here:


Learn More

Education is a core activity of JRS, and in the midst of the current crisis we are finding unique ways to ensure that displaced children have the opportunity to learn and thrive. Read about our approach and lessons we’ve learned in adapting our programs during the pandemic in our paper, Protecting the Future: Education Response During COVID-19.