July 30, 2014 Print

In Malaysia, educational freedom is a growing option for refugee and stateless children thanks to a new project by IDEAS Academy. The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), an Atlas Network partner in Malaysia, is taking a bold new step in the direction of implementing school choice by opening up its own school, IDEAS Academy, for refugee and stateless children. The idea to start the school started last December, after IDEAS found that there was a need in the refugee/stateless community for secondary school options. There were (and still are) many primary schools for these children in Malaysia, but few offer secondary education. “We want to make education accessible to everyone,” says Trine Engskov, IDEAS Academy general manager. IDEAS is collaborating with a Dutch NGO and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to create this school. Because of the international makeup of IDEAS Academy, classes will be taught in English. IDEAS Academy already has 20 students waiting to sign up, and it is expecting that number to rise to 100 by the end of the year when the school opens. In addition to providing education, the academy is looking to provide a number of programs for its students including outings, movie nights and workshops. “We want to create a platform for students to be safe and be young,” Engskov says. Read more about the story here.