Read caption Photo: NRC/Andrew Quilty
Education is a fundamental human right for all children and youth. A quality education provides children and young people with the skills, capacities and confidence they need to allow them to live lives that they have reason to value. Education creates the voice through which other rights can be claimed and protected.

People reached in 2017

A total of


people benefitted from our education work

In DR Congo


people benefitted from our education work

In Afghanistan


people benefitted from our education work

Displacement has a devastating impact on learning, and often leads to an education being denied or interrupted. Children and youth may suffer from traumatic experiences and a loss of social networks that provide protection and support. The capacity of education systems to deliver quality education is often significantly reduced during and after conflict. These factors weaken a young person’s ability to learn, develop and access opportunities.

Quality education provides protection, a sense of normality, a way of healing trauma, and hope for the future. Evidence consistently shows that education is a top priority for displaced people and should be made available from the onset of an emergency.

Read caption This animated film plunges into the nightmares the children of Gaza and Hebron experience, night after night. It is made from real drawings, by real children.

Our expertise in education

We aim to ensure that all displaced children and youth enjoy quality education that is relevant to their psychosocial, emotional and cognitive development, from the start of emergencies. Displaced children and youth are highly marginalised in accessing quality education.

NRC provides opportunities for school-aged children (between six and 18 years old) and youth (between 15 and 24 years old, depending on the country) to complete a full cycle of basic education. We have a particular focus on those who are out of school or have had their education interrupted.

Young women and men are provided with opportunities for post-primary education, including technical and vocational education and training, agricultural training, and tertiary educational opportunities. We only provide early childhood care where it supports access to, and retention in, NRC’s programmes.

We promote and support the inclusion of IDP and refugee children and youth into formal education systems, so they can benefit from an accredited education that allows them to progress through all levels of the education system.

Read caption NRC's day care centre in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan

Recognising that governments are the primary duty bearer, we  support governments to uphold their duties, including through teacher professional development and the construction or rehabilitation of schools.

We use our evidence base to promote policy dialogue and change. Teachers are key to the achievement of quality education. They should receive adequate training, follow-up and compensation.

As not all children and youth are able to participate in a formal education, we provide flexible, and, if possible, accredited alternative (non-formal) learning opportunities that enable out-of-school children and youth to fully benefit from education. For youth in particular, a non-formal education should allow learners to develop the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes that will allow them to find livelihood opportunities.

Our education activities primarily focus on four thematic areas:

  • education in acute emergencies
  • alternative and accelerated education
  • youth education and training
  • creating safe and inclusive learning environments

All our education programmes adhere to the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Minimum Standards for Education.

An active advocate

NRC actively advocates the right to an education for displaced children and youth. We were one of the first aid organisations to actively include education as a core component of emergency response.

NRC is a founding member of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), and we co-chair the INEE Steering Group

We are also represented in these key education networks:

  • INEE Minimum Standards and Network Tools Working Group and various INEE Task Teams 
  • Global Education Cluster
  • Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) and the Watchlist for Children in Armed Conflict. 
  • Global Working Group to End School-Related Gender Based Violence 
  • Global Campaign for Education (GCE) in Norway and our field locations
Our campaign: Learning in emergencies – 1 million

Overcoming the barriers that keep children out of school requires innovative thinking. NRC has embarked on an ambitious initiative to close the gap for millions of children and youth who have been denied their right to education.

NRC has made an organisational commitment to do more, and do better. By 2018 we aim to reach one million youth annually with our educational programmes.

We launched the 1 million initiative in 2015 to preserve the quality of our activities as we expand them. We're innovating to ensure that pupils can attend school, and, just as importantly – that they learn.

Contact us

Education Team Leader

Annelies Ollieuz


+47 48 05 71 08