The overwhelming assumption among scholars and humanitarian agencies is that education is “good” and that it acts as protection in a refugee context. While education does have the potential to contribute to positive life outcomes, when dealing with different refugee populations who have varied perceptions of education and experiences with education, this is not always the case. Some studies demonstrate that schools in refugee camps are often not viewed as safe spaces. These studies show that individual and group experiences and realities in each refugee situation must be considered; assumptions cannot be made about how communities view education and the importance of education. The proposed study will focus on a protracted refugee camp situation in Tanzania, home to Congolese and
Burundian refugees. Low rates of secondary school enrollment and completion among refugees youth in this camp demonstrate that the focus needs to turn to planning education with refugees rather than for refugees. Using a focused ethnography, this study will consider the perceptions of refugee youth, in an attempt to explore ways in which the planning, implementation, and delivery of education in the camp can be better suited to the needs of the community.

Published in: Canada International Conference on Education, 2017

  • Date of Conference: 26-29 June, 2017
  • DOI: 10.2053/CICE.2017.0222
  • Electronic ISBN: 978-1-908320-83-4
  • Conference Location: University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada