LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes

@SunZambian

A PROJECT pre-piloting the UNESCO Qualifications Passport for refugees and vulnerable migrants has been launched. 

The Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) says the UNESCO Qualifications Passport (UQP) was a modern universal tool to facilitate the mobility of refugees with qualifications and was envisaged to be used for migrants around the globe.

ZAQA director Mirriam Chiyaba said in an interview the UQP was aimed at increasing access for refugees and vulnerable immigrants to higher education through the recognition of past learning and qualifications.

Ms Chiyaba said once a migrant was issued with the passport for a number of years they would have an opportunity to either go back to school or find employment in Zambia.

She said before the passport was issued ZAQA would carry out an assessment with the migrant and the process would be done through questionnaires, verbally and checking their documents, if any, just to see how far the person went to school.

Ms Chiyaba said it was important to implement such measures because some of the refugees were unable to carry all their documents as they fled their countries.

“The UQP is a pilot project and first of its kind in Africa and Zambia, and ZAQA is going to partnered with UNESCO, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Commissioner for Refugees in Zambia and Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). 

“And it will soon train ZAQA staff to become credential evaluators,” Ms Chiyaba said.

She said once an assessment was done and they did not have documents but were able to remember where they did their studies from, ZAQA would help to contact the institution and verify if that particular person had been there and how far they had gone in terms of education.

She was happy that the project was launched in Zambia first and that it would be a success so that many migrants benefitted.  

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