Syrian Children Missing Education
Photo Caption: Nearly three million Syrian children have had to leave school since conflict began in their country in 2011, says a report from UNICEF and three other child-focused agencies, including World Vision. The decline in education jeopardizes their future as well as their country’s.
Before the war began in 2011, Syria had primary school attendance of 97 percent. Currently 2.2 million school-age children in Syria are out of school. Where the fighting is worst, as few as six percent of children are in school.
One in five schools in Syria is occupied by displaced people or is too damaged to be used for classes, the UNICEF’s “Education Interrupted” report says. Many Syrian parents say they keep their children home in order to keep them safe.
The report also highlights the difficulties for Syrian refugee children trying to access education in camps or host communities in Lebanon and Jordan. Different languages and dialects for instruction, poverty, overcrowded classrooms, and community tensions keep them away from class. Many go to work instead of school.
Yameea Eqaelan, a math teacher at a remedial school in Irbid, Jordan, says, “Children in my class have not been in school for two years. We have to take it very slow because so much has been lost in those critical years of learning. They are so far behind.”
Written by Kathryn Reid
Photo © 2013 Jon Warren / World Vision
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