Kenya: Ministry of Education welcomes recommendations to support teachers in refugee settings

03 April 2023


©IIEP-UNESCO/Makmende Media
Achol Awuol from the film We Teach Here is shown filming herself in her classroom in Kakuma, Kenya.

Kenya hosts over half a million refugees and asylum seekers, with the majority coming from Somalia and South Sudan. Over half of them are under the age of 17.

The Ministry of Education has now welcomed new recommendations presented in the research brief, Ensuring effective management of teachers in refugee settings in Kenya, from IIEP-UNESCO and Education Development Trust and with support from Dubai Cares.

“We welcome these recommendations and this support to the teachers,” Dr Elyas Abdi, Ministry of Education, Director General during a recent dissemination workshop.

Kenya has taken bold steps to offer the same educational services in refugee camps and settlements, as in the public system.

For example, Kenya signed the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the subsequent Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).

Recently published policies and plans further show the government’s commitment to inclusion and the local integration of refugees.

“We have been striving to ensure that we include completely our refugee communities in the education system,” continued Dr Abdi. “Because it is the best we can give these children.”

The research brief provides promising guidance to foster stronger teaching environments, which is critical to the inclusion of all learners.

“In education, we say the working conditions of the teacher is equally the learning condition of the child.”
- Dr Elyas Abdi, Ministry of Education, Director General

The brief tackles challenges teachers face across the education system. It provides recommendations on how to foster the system-level preconditions for strengthening teacher management in refugee settings, how to improve key dimensions such as recruitment and retention and better job conditions, as well as how to scale up promising practices such as mentoring in camp schools.


©IIEP-UNESCO/Makmende Media

Stanley Kibet Sironei is a national teacher in Kakuma, Kenya. He says refugee and national teachers work together to improve the learning experience of students. However, large class sizes can be a challenge for everyone.

The evidence-packed guidance also distinguishes between short-term recommendations – over the next 12 months – as well as those that go beyond a five-year horizon.

The research brief is part of a multi-country research programme jointly organized with Education Development Trust to promote promising practices for effective teacher management in refugee settings.


©IIEP-UNESCO/Makmende Media

Originally from Ethiopia, Bhan Pal Simon became a teacher when he arrived in Kenya. He said it was frightening and very hard to stand before his students. However, a training programme helped him build confidence. “At long last, I found that I can do it.”

Learn more about their stories

We Teach Here is a film series that removes our attachment to place to instead focus on people – it's about teachers who keep teaching, no matter what, no matter where. These are their stories: the lives they lead and the challenges and opportunities they encounter along the way.


We Teach Here was produced by Education Development Trust and the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning with funding from Dubai Cares and production and photography by Makmende Media.