Education

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Kenya-Djibouti Program is the lead implementing agency for UNHCR in basic education in Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps where education is provided under the Kenyan curriculum. LWF also supports education programs in Kismayu area of Jubbaland in Somalia targeting returnees and IDPs.

LWF's intervention in education is not only through classroom teaching but also professional development of teachers (especially from the refugee community). In this aspect, LWF supports refugee teachers to study for Diploma in Primary Education offered by the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology for the refugee teachers in Kakuma and Imara Teachers' Training College for refugee teachers in Dadaab. Whereas this has a direct and almost immediate impact on professionalism and the quality of teaching, it also gives the trained refugee teachers a competitive edge should they be resettled to 3rd countries, or integrate locally or even opt for voluntary repatriation.  

The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centers cater for children between the ages of 3-6, usually below the primary school-age. The activities in the ECD Centers are usually meant to allow the children an opportunity to play together, and develop cognitive and psychomotor skills in readiness for admission primary schools once they attain 6 or 7 years. LWF has invested in training the ECD teachers through the District Centers for Early Childhood Education (DICECEs) which are government facilities mandated to develop the capacity of ECD teachers.

In both locations, LWF has noted the presence of a significant number of children with disabilities. These range from celebral palsy, hearing impairment, visual impairment to physical impairment and there is a tendency by parents and caregivers to keep such children at home out of concern (an rightly so) that they might not get the necessary care and attention if sent to school alongside other children. To alleviate this fear, LWF has recruited Kenyan nationals with Special Needs in Education (SNE) qualifications and at the same time, LWF has a lasting memorandum of agreement with the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) which is a state body under the Ministry of Education to train refugee teachers handling children with disabilities.

LWF also operates EARC (Educational Assessment & Resource Centers) in Kakuma and Dadaab. At these centers, children with disability are assessed to determine, for example the level of hearing impairment and the intervention needed to support the learner in the best way possible through assistive devices, one-on-one coaching etc.

At the national level, LWF is among the key education stakeholders that have come together under the Ministry of Education to advocate for the recognition and inclusion of refugees learners by the government, which will lead to easy admission of refugees into educational institutions beyond camp boundaries and also waive national examination fees that is currently only paid by refugees and not Kenyan candidates.

In 2016, LWF conducted an assessment on the barriers to education in Kakuma refugee camp. Please see the report here for more details.