After 7 years of conflict, Syrian children, both inside Syria and in refugee host countries, along with the children in host communities, still face major constraints in accessing education due to the protracted conflict, policy barriers, and a lack of resources.
There are 1.75 million children (5-17 years old) out of school and 1.35 million at risk of dropping out. Schools have been destroyed, are occupied, or damaged. More than half of teachers and education personnel have left the education system.
In spite of the generosity of host countries which opened their public schools to refugees, 43% of the 1.7 million school age Syrian refugee children are out-of-school, with some 2.5 million Syrian refugee children in neighboring countries overall. From 2016 to 2017 the percentage of out-of-school children has increased from 34 per cent to 43 per cent, this is partially due to an increase in the absolute number of Syrian refugee school-aged children, and partially due to a reduction in enrollment in non-formal education.
Of the 57 per cent of Syrian school aged children and youth (5-17 years) who were enrolled, 54 per cent were in formal education and 3 per cent in non-formal education. There has been an increase in the number of children enrolled in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. However enrolnment in non-formal education programmes has declined.
Nearly half of the population of internally displaced school-aged children—some 335,000 children—are out of school. In 2017 alone, more than 150 schools were damaged or destroyed.
Public education systems need to be open to Syrian refugee children and other vulnerable children and further investments in quality and inclusive learning are needed. Resources for non-formal education as an interim measure or as alternative pathways to formal education are essential to bridge the gap. Funding for education needs to be matched with strengthening of child protection systems and livelihoods opportunities, otherwise there will always be a core group of children who will not be able to access learning.
NLG Education technical focal point email@example.com
1 Targets reflect only Humanitarian Response Plan, excluding Resilience and Recovery Progra