This article examines the schooling that is provided in the world’s refugee camps. The limitations provided both by the nature of schooling itself and by the international refugee relief system are explored. It is concluded that there are three separate paradoxes making problematic the development of refugee education programmes. The first is the challenge that the “pseudo-state” (the international refugee relief regime) faces in identifying curriculum and pedagogy. The second is that education is always embedded in political judgments, about values that are only poorly defined in refugee populations. The third is that schooling is inherently embedded in broader issues of individual and economic development that for refugee populations are inherently unclear and often unimaginable.
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