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Research Report

Securing Education for Syrian Refugees in Jordan

Copyright Date: May. 1, 2015
Pages: 28

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [i]-[i])
  2. (pp. [ii]-[iii])
  3. (pp. 1-1)
  4. (pp. 2-3)

    The Syrian refugee crisis is the largest and most complex refugee situation in recent times, according to UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.¹ The war has caused extensive physical destruction, and the Syrian economy and social service systems have broken down. As a result, more than half of Syria’s population has been displaced: 7.6 million have been uprooted within Syria and 4 million have registered as refugees in other countries.² Given the track record of peace initiatives to solve the multifaceted conflict, there is little reason to think that the situation will improve in the near term.

    Against this...

  5. (pp. 3-4)

    Jordan is already host to more than 2 million Palestinian refugees registered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). These refugees came in waves following surges in the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, with peaks during the Arab-Israeli wars in 1948 and 1967. The Iraq wars, particularly the one beginning in 2003, produced a new group of Iraqi refugees in the Hashemite Kingdom. Although Jordan has never signed the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, or the 1967 protocol that followed, the country has offered generous humanitarian hospitality and temporary protection to refugees coming to Jordan. Nevertheless, the...

  6. (pp. 4-7)

    Before the current conflict, Syria was a middleincome country with a well-developed education system. When the Ba’ath Party took control of the country in the 1960s, it made education one of its priorities. The aim was to combat illiteracy, stimulate development, and promote Ba’athist ideology and loyalty among citizens. The country’s education initiatives produced some of the highest enrollment rates and lowest illiteracy rates in the Middle East, although some rural areas fell far below the national average.13In 2010, more than 90 percent of men and women in Syria were literate.14 The enrollment rate was 97 percent for primary school...

  7. (pp. 7-8)

    Despite the protracted nature of the Syrian crisis, Syrian refugee children and youth are part of Syria’s future and will likely be central to the country’s recovery and reconstruction. The economic and social devastation in Syria has reversed years of positive developments in education. It will take years or even decades to rebuild infrastructure and economic production capacity, and this process will be more complicated if the younger generations of Syrians lack education. The general level of education in the population, and not least among the new generation that will carry much responsibility for reconstruction and development, will have significant...

  8. (pp. 9-12)

    Based on the most recent available data, it can be estimated that approximately 40 percent of schoolage Syrian refugees in Jordan—more than 80,000 children—are not attending school. About 32 percent of Syrian refugees in Jordan, or approximately 201,600 children and youth, are of schoolgoing age.42 Of these, 30,000 reside in the largest refugee camp, Zaatari, where 48 percent of schoolage children do not attend formal school.43 The number of school-age children in other refugee camps in Jordan is relatively small. Far more Syrian refugee children live in Jordanian host communities outside of camps, where it is known that...

  9. (pp. 12-17)

    The main barrier to education for Syrian refugees in Jordan is the education system’s capacity. Public schools in the areas hosting the most refugees are overburdened and unable to absorb all school-age refugee students, despite scaling up to double-shift schools. The increased demand for education puts pressure not only on budgets for new classrooms and schools but also on the demand for skilled and educated teachers. Because of Jordanian employment regulations, only Jordanian teachers can be employed in schools. When this is combined with a lack of funding to meet the current demand for teachers, the result is a lack...

  10. (pp. 17-23)

    Education contributes significantly to stability and development. It promotes social cohesion by increasing knowledge about society and demo - cratic principles for government and citizenship. Schools also give young people an arena to develop social skills. The list of benefits can go on, but securing education for Syrian refugees remains a challenge as the crisis continues in its fifth year. Recent studies suggest that school participation depends more on access and reduced cost than on the quality of education. Indirect costs such as transportation, uniforms, and school supplies are often noted as significant barriers to continued education.88As the response to...

  11. (pp. 24-24)