UNICEF Provides Learning Opportunities for Syrian Refugee Children Who Are Not Eligible for Formal Schooling

UNICEF and its partners in Jordan are expanding education programs to reach the alarming number of “stay at home” children who have fallen behind by three or more grades, making them no longer eligible to enroll in formal schooling.

NEW YORK (February 4, 2014)UNICEF and its partners in Jordan are expanding education programs to reach the alarming number of “stay at home” children who have fallen behind by three or more grades, making them no longer eligible to enroll in formal schooling.

UNICEF estimates there are nearly 60,000 Syrian children and other vulnerable Jordanian children who are too far behind in their studies to enroll in the public school system and therefore need to be urgently connected to informal education opportunities.  

Many of these children spend the majority of time in their family’s home. They report feeling bored and frustrated, with little hope for a promising future.

Syrian children are also trying to cope with the emotional distress of living through conflict and displacement and are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Many parents believe they are protecting their children by keeping them at home. In a psychosocial assessment of youth in the Za’atari refugee camp, 71 percent  of young people reported that they ‘withdraw or hide’ to cope with their problems.

This year, UNICEF and its partners are planning to reach an additional 30,000 “stay at home” Syrian and vulnerable Jordanian children through catch-up and informal education programs across the country. 

Existing programs will expand, such as informal education classes at the Baqa’a community center in East Amman where over 2,000 children are on the waiting list. There will also be an additional 26 centers opening across the country.

Enrolling “stay at home” children in learning opportunities is critical in providing a sense of purpose, safety and normalcy, as well as reconnecting children with their peers and communities. Informal and remedial classes can lead children back into the formal schooling system or provide vital life skills and basic education to ensure a future.

More than 80 percent of some 595,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan live in the country’s towns and villages rather than in camps. UNICEF is looking to further scale up its programs to reach all children in Jordan with vital learning opportunities.

How to help: For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution to UNICEF’s relief efforts, please contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF:
Website: www.unicefusa.org/syria
Toll free: 1-800-FOR-KIDS
Text: SYRIA to 864233 to donate $10.*
Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10038

As with any emergency, in the event that donations exceed anticipated needs, the U.S. Fund will redirect any excess funds to children in greatest need.

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About UNICEF
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.   

For additional information, please contact:

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