Together for Learning – About
On this page
- Key areas of work
- Alignment with Canada’s existing policies on education
- Together for Learning Summit
There is a global learning crisis: millions of children aren’t developing the essential skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Conflict, the climate crisis, natural disasters and the impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are threatening hard-won global gains in education. The impacts are especially severe for refugee, other forcibly displaced and host community children and youth, especially girls. These are the ones who are most at risk of being left behind.
Factors that marginalize people, such as displacement, create significant barriers to education:
- about 3.7 million refugee children are out of school, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency
- girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school if they live in conflict-affected countries
- only about 7 refugee girls are enrolled in secondary level education for every 10 refugee boys
- children in crisis- and conflict-affected areas are 30% less likely to finish primary school and half as likely to finish lower-secondary school
We must act quickly. If we do not, many of these children risk never being able to access quality education and lifelong learning.
For Canada, this means education that is:
- Equitable: All children, regardless of their background, situation and ability, should have access to the same quality of education.
- Inclusive: National education systems must include all children, including refugees. No child or youth can be left behind, especially those most vulnerable, such as:
- children and youth with disabilities,
- girls and adolescent girls,
- internally displaced persons,
- those living in host communities.
- Gender-responsive: Learning spaces must be responsive to the specific needs of girls and boys. We must break down the barriers that prevent girls from completing their education.
- Conflict sensitive: Learning initiatives should not increase tensions or conflict. They should understand the context in which education takes place, including relevant conflict dynamics, and build capacities for peace.
- Locally driven: Education cannot be one-size-fits-all: every context is different, and each requires a tailored approach. National governments must lead education that addresses the needs of communities, including the needs the communities themselves have identified.
Key areas of work
The Together for Learning campaign includes the following 4 key areas of work where Canada is driving progress.
1. Programming excellence
Building on Canada’s leadership through the Charlevoix Education Initiative, Canada will continue to deliver programming to make sure all children and youth, especially girls, have access to quality education.
We aim to deepen our impact by:
- sharing lessons learned and best practices drawn from our programming portfolio
- developing programming tools and guidance to inform future programming
- taking innovative approaches and working with Canadian civil society and multilateral partners to help deliver Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance
Together, these efforts will deepen our impact for refugee, other forcibly displaced and host community children and youth.
- Canada announces funding for education projects
- Minister Sajjan announces $67.2 million to support education for displaced children and youth as Canada hosts Together for Learning Summit
- Call for Concept Notes – Education for Refugee and Displaced Children and Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa
2. Diplomatic engagement
Canada continues to work with country partners, local governments, Canadian civil society, multilateral partners and other education stakeholders to drive forward policy dialogue and advocacy for the education of all children and youth, including refugee, other forcibly displaced and host community children and youth.
3. Amplifying local voices
Canada commits to listen and learn from the voices of refugees, other forcibly displaced and host community children and youth, parents, teachers and community leaders through the following main channels:
- the Refugee Education Council was created in consultation with Canadian civil society and is hosted by World Vision Canada. The Refugee Education Council is made up of youth advocates, community leaders, teachers and parents from developing countries. It allows us to hear and learn from local voices and their lived experiences.
- engagement with the Canadian public, including refugee and diaspora populations within Canada, to amplify their voices.
4. Building the evidence base
Canada works with Canadian and international data partners. We aim to solve the gap in gender-sensitive and disaggregated data and evidence relevant to the children and youth targeted by the campaign.
Alignment with Canada’s existing policies on education
- contributes to the government’s response to COVID-19 and the current global education crisis
- In 2019, the Minister of International Development’s mandate letter committed to “lead an international campaign to ensure that all refugee and displaced children can get the education they need and deserve”.
- responds to Canada’s existing priority on education for girls in conflict and crisis settings
- This is described in the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries. The declaration was a key outcome of Canada’s 2018 G7 presidency that triggered a total of 3.8 billion Canadian dollars in pledges, including 400 million dollars from Canada.
- aligns with the need to address the education of the most vulnerable and marginalized
- This priority is identified in the Human Dignity Action Area of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. This will better support equal educational opportunities for women and girls in developing countries. It will also contribute to achieving quality education (Sustainable Development Goal #4).
Together for Learning Summit
On March 30 and 31, 2022, Canada hosted the Together for Learning Summit: Engaging Displaced Youth to Transform Education. Through interactive virtual sessions, participants had the opportunity to learn from the educational experiences of displaced youth, engaging with them as problem solvers and decision makers. Participants collaborated on solutions to promote quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth experiencing forced displacement as well as host community children and youth.
Key global stakeholder participated at the Together for Learning Summit including:
- youth leaders, and members of the Refugee Education Council
- ministers of education and officials from countries hosting refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs)
- ministers of international development and officials from donor countries
- heads of international development agencies
- representatives of civil society, multilateral organizations and the private sector
The Together for Learning Summit focused on 3 core themes:
- inclusive and high-quality education
- gender equality
- technology and innovation
The following documents were released as part of the Together for Learning Summit:
- The Youth Manifesto entitled “Vision for the Education of Refugee and Displaced Learners” was written by and for youth and includes a call to action for governments, civil society, multilateral organizations and the private sector. It focuses on 5 core areas: inclusion, mental health and psychosocial support, digital learning, gender equality and accountability.
- The Youth Anthology entitled “Learning from Disrupted Learners” is a compilation of stories and reflections from refugee and displaced youth.
- The Together for Learning Summit outcome document entitled “Together with Youth” responds to the Youth Manifesto that outlines the signatories’ shared commitments.
Recordings of the Together for Learning Summit (videos)
Meetings ahead of the Together for Learning Summit
Youth dialogues (December 2021 and January 2022)
In the lead-up to the Together for Learning Summit in March 2022, World University Service of Canada (WUSC) organized 4 regional dialogues. These dialogues brought together youth participants from the Middle East, East Africa, West Africa and Latin America.
Through their stories and experiences of forced migration, the participants contributed to the development of the Youth Manifesto. Together, government officials negotiated their response, outlining their commitments to education. These negotiations resulted in the release of Together with Youth, the Together for Learning Summit outcome document during the Summit.
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