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La educación en los campamentos saharauis: un sistema educativo en el refugio y en el desierto



When in 1975 Spain leaves to its fate the inhabitants of the former Spanish province of Western Sahara, most of the Saharawi population has to flee their homes chased by the armies of Morocco and Mauritania in the operation known as “Ecouvillon” while the civilian population marched to Saharaui territory in "The Green March" .In this flight to the desert find refuge in an inhospitable territory of the Algerian Hamada where, located in four camps, declare the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), organizing basic services that allow the survival of the population as well as the possibility of return and government of the territory of Western Sahara in the future. Within the hardness of the situation emerges something exceptional and it is the main axis of this article. The Saharawi people are able to create in the desert refugee camps an educational system that reduces illiteracy in the population as a whole and in childhood in particular. They have been able to organize an educational system in which practically 100% of children are in school, reducing the illiteracy of 90% of the population, in colonial times, to data similar to those of developed countries. In the education of the camps you can study children's education, primary, secondary and also vocational training. In this article we will go deeper into the main characteristics and difficulties of a structured educational system practically without economic resources, but what represents a great commitment to education as a form of struggle, social and political progress. We will also analyze the role of the Spanish Government as a donor of humanitarian aid to these people, as well as its political responsibility in a conflict that has been open for more than 40 years, with Western Sahara being the only territory in the world pending decolonization.
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The peace, the stability and the perspectives of integration and economic development in the Maghreb depend mostly on the resolution of the conflict of the Western Sahara, on the base of the resolutions of the United Nations. The full application of the Peace Plan negotiated freely in 1988 by Morocco and the POLISARIO Front, which contemplates the celebration of a referendum of self-determination, continues being the right way to proceed to the decolonization of the territory. In the European Union we can see the contradictions of a system that, in spite of the evolution of the last years, gives priority of its economic and political interests over the promotion of democracy and human rights. So, while the Commission negotiates with Morocco the exploitation of the natural resources of the territory (fish, phosphates, hydrocarbons...) and advances towards a space of free trade with this State, violating the International Law, the Parliament claims the right of self-determination of the Saharan people, its permanent sovereignty on the natural resources of the territory, and tries, without success, to limit the scope of the agreements for his exploitation, and to restrict the application of the Agreement of Association and the future advanced Statute to the Moroccan territory, excluding, therefore the Western Sahara. On the other hand, the violations of human rights of the Saharan population in the occupied territories, denounced by the principal humanitarian organizations and by the European Parliament have not been an obstacle in order that the mentioned Agreement of Association of the EU with Morocco, which contains the called «democratic clause», continues being applied by absolute normality.
This ground-breaking book is one of the first to analyse the important phenomenon of South-South educational migration for refugees. It focuses particularly on South-South scholarship programmes in Cuba and Libya, which have granted free education to children, adolescents and young adults from two of the world’s most protracted refugee situations: Sahrawis and Palestinians. Through in-depth multi-sited fieldwork conducted with and about Sahrawi and Palestinian refugee students in Cuba and Libya, and following their return to the desert-based Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria and the urban Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, this highly pertinent study brings refugees’ views and voices to the forefront and sheds a unique light on their understandings of self-sufficiency, humanitarianism and hospitality. It critically assesses the impact of diverse policies designed to maximise self-sufficiency and to reduce both brain drain and ongoing dependency upon Northern aid providers, exploring the extent to which South-South scholarship systems have challenged the power imbalances that typically characterise North to South development models. Finally, this very timely study discusses the impact of the Arab Spring on Libya’s support mechanisms for Sahrawi and Palestinian refugees, and considers the changing nature of Cuba’s educational model in light of major ongoing political, ideological and economic shifts in the island state, asking whether there is a future for such alternative programmes and initiatives. This book will be a valuable resource for students, researchers and practitioners in the areas of migration studies, refugee studies, comparative education, development and humanitarian studies, international relations, and regional studies (Latin America, Middle East, and North Africa).
En: Cuadernos de pedagogía Barcelona 2003, n. 328, octubre ; p. 14-19 Presenta una visión general de la educación en el Sáhara. Tras una introducción sobre la situación política y educativa, analiza, a través del día a día de los miembros de una de las familias saharauis, las distintas etapas educativas y los escasos recursos, materiales y humanos, con los que cuenta este pueblo para desarrollar la labor pedagógica. En primer lugar, y siempre resaltando la importancia que le conceden a la lengua española en su sistema educativo, se centra en las guarderías, después en las madrazas o escuelas y por último en los internados, que asumen el último curso de educación primaria si no hay plaza en las madrazas, y los servicios que éstos prestan para atender la cotidianeidad
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