UNICEF USA UNICEF USA
  • Contact Us
  • Login

Decline in Education for Syrian Children “Worst and Fastest in Region’s History”

Decline in Education for Syrian Children “Worst and Fastest in Region’s History” 

NEW YORK (December 13, 2013) - The decline in education for Syrian children has been the sharpest and most rapid in the history of the region, according to a new paper published today.

“Education Interrupted” highlights that since 2011 nearly 3 million children from Syria have been forced to quit their education as fighting has destroyed classrooms, left children too terrified to go to school, or seen families flee the country. Progress achieved over decades has been reversed in under three years. 

The paper is the first attempt to quantify the full extent of the staggering decline in education in a country where primary school attendance rates stood at 97 percent before the conflict began in 2011.

More than 1,000 days of bloodshed in Syria have seen millions of children lose their education, schools and teachers.

At best, children are getting sporadic education. At worst, they drop out of schools and are forced to work to support their families.

Inside Syria, 1 in every 5 schools cannot be used because they have been damaged, destroyed or are sheltering internally displaced persons, says the paper. In countries hosting Syrian refugees, between 500,000-600,000 Syrian refugee children are out of school.

The worst affected areas inside Syria are those where fierce violence is taking place—including A-Raqqa, Idlib, Aleppo, Deir Ezzour, Hama, Dara’a and Rural Damascus. In some of these areas attendance rates have plummeted to as low as 6 percent. 

Syria was a regional leader in education enrolment before the conflict, yet in less than three years the sharpest regression in education of anywhere in the region occurred with dire consequences for the future.

The paper details some of the factors that have contributed to the rapid emptying of classrooms.

Inside Syria, intensifying violence, large population displacement, the killing and flight of teachers and the destruction and misuse of schools have all made learning more difficult for children. Many parents report that they have no option but to keep their children at home rather than risk sending them to school.

In neighboring countries different language and dialect, different curricula, limited or no learning spaces, physical safety, poverty, and community tensions are keeping children away from classes. Meanwhile, children and teachers from host communities are faced with over-crowded classrooms and increased pressure on education systems. 

The paper also sets out critical actions that—if taken now—could reverse the slide. These include:

  • Protection of education infrastructure inside Syria—including ending the use of schools for military purposes, declaring schools as zones of peace, and holding accountable those parties to the conflict who violate the protection of schools. 
  • Doubling of international investment for education in host countries to expand and improve learning spaces, recruit additional teachers and slash the costs of getting children into classrooms.
  • Innovative approaches to overcome education needs of Syrian refugee children such as transferrable certification for refugee students. 
  • Scaling up proven models such as home-based learning, non-formal learning centers and child-friendly spaces that provide psychosocial support for children. 

###

For additional information, please contact:

Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, smasur@unicefusa.org

Syria Refugee Crisis on Fieldnotes RSS

April 2, 2014

Powerful Earthquake in Chile

An 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck northern Chile just after 8:00 P.M. local time last night. The earthquake epicenter was offshore from the Chilean Region of Tarapaca (population 350,373). There are reports of structural damage and six casualties. The Government has declared two northern zones as disaster areas. Approximately 900,000 people were evacuated from coastal zones […]

March 27, 2014

UNICEF Restores Access to Water in Emergencies

This month, the UNICEF Tap Project is highlighting the issue of clean water by challenging you to go without your phone. We’ve been sharing ways in which UNICEF improves access to clean water. No situation is more pressing than an emergency, when restoring access to clean water is key to preventing the spread of disease. […]

March 24, 2014

As the Rainy Season Approaches, A Rush of Aid to South Sudan

Christopher Tidey is a UNICEF Communication Specialist on mission to South Sudan. He writes from the capital, Juba, where 27,000 people have taken refuge from months of violence. “I was sitting with my five brothers and sisters in the tent, playing a game, and then … boom, the rains came down so hard it was […]

 

SYRIA TWO YEAR REPORT

Syria 2 year Report

Click here to view the Syria 2 Year Report, or right click to save it to your desktop.