Briefing note

Education in Eastern Chad - Needs and opportunities for refugees and host communities

Published 01. Dec 2023
More than half a million people have crossed into Eastern Chad in only six months, fleeing widespread violence in Darfur. Among this population, over half of the refugees from Sudan are school-aged children.

Chad hosts 52.7 per cent of Sudanese refugees, including over 270,000 children. Among Sudanese, approximately 90 per cent of school-aged children (6 to 17 years) have previously attended school in Sudan.

In Chad, younger children are unable to continue engagement in basic education to solidify foundational literacy and numeracy, which would be immediately protective. For adolescents and youth without support, displacement could mean the end of their education pathways without transition into meaningful, dignified income-generating activities, representing a loss of capacity that could otherwise strengthen the resilience of refugee households and contribute to local economies.

Both refugee and host community children and youth are unable to realise their right to education and are missing the opportunity to develop foundational skills. Additionally, out-of-school children are highly vulnerable to economic exploitation, child marriage, early pregnancy, and recruitment into armed groups.

In the department of Assoungha, where refugees are concentrated, local education services are already overstretched and are only accessible in urban centres. With up to 130 children observed per class in schools with no water for drinking or hygiene purposes, makeshift classrooms built from flimsy materials, and staffed with an insufficient teaching workforce, there is no capacity for absorption of Sudanese children into existing schools or the extension of education to rural areas. Provision of basic services in refugee camps is rudimentary and does not cover needs for all. Currently, education services in camps and informal settlements are almost non-existent.