Greece failing on refugee schooling: Rights groups

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Greece is neglecting the schooling needs of thousands of refugee and migrant children in camps and elsewhere, two rights groups said in a report on Wednesday.

Save the Children and the Greek Council for Refugees said more than 20,000 children were affected and the situation had been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They said the number of refugee children attending school was “shockingly low” owing to a lack of staff and transport, and hostility from locals.

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Less than 15 percent of children in refugee camps attended formal school, with more than a third of Afghan and Iraqi children never having been to school, the report said.

And measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, including movement restriction in camps, has exacerbated the situation.

Greek children had access to distance learning last year, but children in refugee accommodation sites were effectively excluded entirely owing to poor internet access and a lack of equipment.

Daniel Gorevan of Save the Children said Greece had a chronic problem with sending refugee children to school.

“Even before COVID-19, less than a third of refugee and migrant children were actually enrolled and attending school,” he said.

In 2020, the EU allocated Greece 7.5 million for refugee children’s education, the groups said.

The migration ministry did not respond when contacted for comment.

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