Access to education for refugee children in Peru with “Lima Aprende”
The project in brief
Peruvian Ministry of Education
2019 - February 2020.
It is expected to continue for the rest of 2020, with expansion of prioritized schools (from 119 schools in 2019 to more than 300 in 2020).
Guarantee the right to education of refugees and migrant children in Peru.
The financial resources of the project come from the national level through the Peruvian Education Ministry. Dirección Regional de Educación de Lima Metropolitana (DRELM) is the entity responsible for the implementation in Lima.
Challenges and how they were overcome
One of the main challenges was the dissemination of information to people of interest. In the last semester of 2019, more than 7,000 vacancies were opened in Lima within the project and at the beginning, only 300 children were enrolled.
Joint actions were taken with international organizations such as UNHCR and UNICEF to identify the reasons of the limited access to education for refugee and migrant children. Thus, it was determined that while enrolment is the gateway to the education system, children must have more significant economic and psychosocial support to have successful retention.
Results of the Good Practice
- Guarantee the right to inclusive education for Venezuelan refugee children: The opening of more than 400 classrooms in 114 educational institutions, is one of the main achievements for the protection of children as it is one of the main human rights concerns in forced migration contexts. More than 70% of the children in “LimaAprende” are Venezuelans. The Peruvian education system will improve as it guarantees an inclusive education system.
- Implementation of safe spaces for children: “LimaAprende” is a multidisciplinary program which involves psychologists, teachers, and social workers. Children from different nationalities have special support to strengthen their scholar integration.
How the project meets the GCR Objectives
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
This project is very much aligned with one of the four objectives of the GCR and has the potential to be adapted and / or be replicated by other countries, not only in the continent but elsewhere.
Access to education for refugee and migrant children is a basic right and it contributes to their protection.
This program has allowed many children to go back to school and to avoid them being in the streets while their parents are working, being survivors of possible exploitation and abuse, and allowed their parents to work.
Furthermore, the program promotes the strengthening of schools as safe spaces for refugees and migrant children as well as the integration of those children into the Peruvian society through their inclusion into public schools where they have the chance to learn and play with children from the host community.
The process of integration is right now one of the most important for the refugee situation in Peru, whereby refugees and migrants are staying for longer periods of time. Further, although the Peruvian Government has been very open to receive more than 865,000 Venezuelans, recently some changes in the migratory system, as well as the increase in security issues have risen discrimination and xenophobic attitudes towards Venezuelan nationals.
Having children from the refugee and migrant community as well as from the host community going to schools together could create ties among the children and their parents and teachers. Moreover, inclusive education guarantees a long-term integration process to those children, which represents a fundamental instrument for the safeguarding of their rights.
It is intended to extend the program to other districts of Lima and also at the regional level throughout the country.
Killa Miranda, Director of the Regional Directorate of Education
Margarita Vargas Angulo, Deputy Representative, UNHCR Peru