Education For Children Inside Syria

by UNICEF USA
Education For Children Inside Syria
Education For Children Inside Syria
Education For Children Inside Syria
Education For Children Inside Syria
Maram, 12, studies at her home in Syria.
Maram, 12, studies at her home in Syria.

Dear Friend,

In 2021, the scale, severity and complexity of humanitarian needs in the Syrian Arab Republic remain extensive. Over 11 million people, including nearly 5 million children, require assistance and more than 6.1 million people are internally displaced. Enduring hostilities are causing continued displacement, and the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 are significantly impacting children’s and families’ access to basic services such as food items and safe water.

The year 2020 was marked by intersecting humanitarian crises. In October, internal displacements due to large scale wildfires across the coastal regions in Syria, which burned more than 74,000 acres of agricultural and forested land across NW Syria, left at least 25,000 people displaced. The wildfires have caused an additional 140,000 people to suffer multiple deprivations due to household damage, loss of power, and reduced access to safe water supplies.

As the eleventh year of the Syrian crisis draws near, the adverse effects of a decade-long conflict are evident. Grave violations against children’s rights continue unabated, 2.5 million children aged 5 to 17 years old are out of school, and an additional 1.6 million children are at risk of dropping out. An already overstretched and under-resourced education system in Syria is under immense pressure in efforts to provide learning opportunities to the most vulnerable children. Since the onset of the conflict, the number of out-of-school Syrian children and youth has increased from 0.9 million in the 2011-12 school year to 2.1 million in the 2017-18 school year.

To address the ongoing challenges facing out-of-school children in Syria, UNICEF continues to deliver educational services and materials, psychosocial support, recreational activities and improved learning environments to children who have limited or no access to school. Since the beginning of the program in 2018, 356,619 newly enrolled out-of-school children have been reached through the Self-Learning Program and Curriculum B. With your generous support, UNICEF and partners were able to achieve the following results for children in the second half of 2020:

  • 14,291 out-of-school children (7,118 girls and 7,173 boys) received self-learning materials;
  • 15,613 out-of-school children (7,707 girls and 7,906 boys) enrolled in SLP benefited from stationery and school-in-a box distribution;
  • 15,851 out-of-school children (8,061 girls and 7,790 boys) enrolled in the Self-Learning Program continued to benefit from recreation kits distributed in the first half of 2020;
  • 15,315 out-of-school children (7,790 girls and 7,525 boys)were provided with psychosocial support;
  • 151 educators (105 females, 46 males)were trained on Self-Learning Program Standard Operating Procedures and active learning;
  • 52 workshops, benefitting 2,538 school staff, were conducted to teach school staff how to ensure sanitation and hygiene measures were implemented correctly

With the crisis in Syria now approaching the eleven-year mark, education remains central to UNICEF’s humanitarian response. Education serves not only as a critical protection mechanism, but also as one of the most important resilience-building measures for conflict-affected children and adolescents, regardless of their age, geographic location or socioeconomic status. UNICEF will continue to ensure that all children affected by the crisis in Syria continue their education and access the learning opportunities required to grow into tomorrow’s leaders.

On behalf of the thousands of out-of-school children who are benefitting from your support in Syria, we thank you.

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Dear Friend,

In 2020, children continue to bear the brunt of the nearly ten-year conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, as it remains the largest displacement crisis in the world. Needs across the country remain extensive, with more than 11 million people (5 million children) requiring humanitarian assistance, including 6.2 million people internally displaced (2.5 million children).

Displaced populations and returnees, particularly in North East and North West Syria, are vulnerable to outbreaks of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, due to unsanitary living conditions, overstretched health services and low coverage of routine immunization. More than nine years of conflict have dramatically reduced access to basic social services, while violations against children are believed to be escalating.

Every year since 2013, around one-third of school-age children and youth in Syria have been out of school and a whole generation of children and youth has received inadequate education. Those children who do enroll might not be easily retained due to the quality of the education services provided.

Since March 2020, COVID-19 has posed additional operational challenges for education in Syria. Preventative measures taken by the Government of Syria – including the closure of schools and learning centers, the postponement of formal education, limitations on movement between governorates within Syria and the closing of international borders - had a significant impact on UNICEF’s ability to deliver education activities. In addition, there were many secondary factors that posed challenges: limited access to reliable real-time information in a conflict setting heightened the risk of misinformation and fear related to COVID-19, making the resumption of educational activities all the more difficult. In response, UNICEF has scaled up investment in communication campaigns to improve the quality of information available about COVID-19 prevention measures.

Since the beginning of this program in 2018, UNICEF and partners have reached 324,020 out-of-school children in Syria newly enrolled through the Self-Learning Program and Curriculum B, providing children without access to education with a pathway to learning and opening up a lifetime of possibilities. As a result of your generosity, UNICEF and partners accomplished the following results in the first half of 2020, despite the closure of schools and learning centers due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • 20,806 out-of-school children (10,191 girls and 10,615 boys) who were enrolled in the SLP received self-learning materials;
  • 22,087 out-of-school children (11,417 girls and 10,670 boys) benefitted from stationery and school-in-a-box distribution;
  • 18,596 out-of-school children benefitted from rehabilitation of 37 learning spaces and 16 Curriculum B public schools;
  • 17,664 out-of-school children (9,283 girls and 8,381 boys)participated in recreational activities to provide psychosocial support;
  • 421 education facilitators (125 female, 296 male) were recruited and trained to conduct SLP classes.

In the final year of the program, UNICEF and partners plan to meet the enrollment target of 366,286 out-of-school children and reach children with learning materials, classes and support services, while deepening work with government and other stakeholders to increase access to education in Syria. Now that program infrastructure has been built and partnerships have been solidified, the program will build on momentum gained in the first two-and-a-half years to increase reach and bring children back to learning.

On behalf of our field colleagues throughout Syria and the region, and the thousands of out-of-school children who are benefitting from your support, we thank you.

 

In Partnership,

Whitney Simon

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Dear Friend,

In March 2020, the Syrian Crisis entered its tenth year, as 11.7 million people reportedly remain in need of humanitarian assistance, including 5 million children

Throughout the country, 2.1 million children aged 5 to 17 years are out of school and 1.3 million children are at risk of dropping out or not learning.

In 2019, the widespread destruction of vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, water stations and bakeries hampered the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance and the return of displaced people, with direct and indirect impacts on education. Between April and October 2019, at least 45 schools were damaged by airstrikes and shelling in northern Hama and southern Idleb governorates, resulting in 400,000 children not able to sit for final exams in Idleb. With the start of the school year in September 2019, the impact of the hostilities on education became more alarming. Half of the schools in Idleb governorate were damaged or destroyed during the fighting or used as shelter for internally displaced persons (IDPs). Areas with an influx of IDPs experienced a shortage of learning space, equipment and teachers, as some 150,000 children were estimated to be among the 400,000 displaced.

To address the ongoing challenges facing out-of-school children in Syria, the Educate a Child program, a partnership between Educate a Child, UNICEF and UNICEF USA, continues to deliver educational services and materials, psychosocial support, recreational activities and improved learning environments to children throughout Syria with limited or no access to school.

During the first two years of the program, UNICEF and partners have reached 310,286 out-of-school children in Syria, providing children without access to education with a pathway to learning and opening up a lifetime of possibilities. During the second half of 2019, UNICEF and partners accomplished the following results:

  • 29,375 out-of-school children (14,137 girls and 15,238 boys) received self-learning materials;
  • 33,207 out-of-school children (16,033 girls and 17,174 boys) benefitted from stationery and school-in-a-box distribution;
  • 19,197 out-of-school children benefitted from rehabilitation of 216 learning spaces
  • 33,428 out-of-school children (16,084 girls and 17,344 boys)participated in recreational activities to provide psychosocial support; and
  • 909 education facilitators (400 female, 509 male) were recruited and trained to conduct self-learning program classes.

In 2020, despite limited local capacity, ongoing conflict and a deeply complex operating environment, UNICEF is building on strong partnerships with national and international NGOs, the national government and a range of other partners to deliver education services and materials to out-of-school children. In the final year of the program, UNICEF and partners plan to reach additional out-of-school children with learning materials, classes and support services and deepen work with government and other stakeholders to elevate the national discussion on reaching out-of-school children and increase access to education. Your continued support is necessary in enabling UNICEF to continue to support out-of-school children in Syria.

In Partnership,

Whitney Simon

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UNICEF/ Syria 2019/ Alaa Kansapa Obeid Camp
UNICEF/ Syria 2019/ Alaa Kansapa Obeid Camp

Dear Friend,

In March 2020, the Syrian Crisis will enter its tenth year. This anniversary represents ten years that Syrian children have lived within the context of the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II. It is estimated that 11.7 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, including 5 million children.

At the end of 2019, approximately 2.1 million Syrian children were out of school, representing nearly one third of the school-age population, and 1.3 million children were at risk of dropping out. The partnership between Educate A Child, UNICEF, and UNICEF USA has provided children with a flexible approach to learning and has given out-of-school children the opportunity to realize their right to education. As of 2019, more than 250,000 children have been reached through accelerated learning and self-learning programs. No other education initiative is reaching similar numbers of children within the country.

Zaid’s Story

Zaid was only in the fourth grade when fighting in his home country of Syria forced him and his family to leave their village. As a result of the conflict, he was unable to return to school for the next five years.

Being away from home was hard for Zaid and, without school, he felt like he was out of options.

“It would be impossible to get back to learning after eight years out of school” Zaid thought. However, when Zaid learned that the Kansapa Self-Learning Center was offering education for out-of-school children just like him, he began to feel hopeful.

The Self-Learning Program, a joint venture between Educate A Child (EAC) —a global program of the Education Above All Foundation — and UNICEF, allows out-of-school children between the ages of 6 and 19 to catch up with their peers by studying at home or in community centers with the help of volunteers or caregivers. Children benefitting from the program learn English, Arabic, math and sciences, including physics and chemistry.

“I would love to be re-enrolled in formal school as I want improve myself and have a better future,” Zaid said.

Zaid knew he was behind on his education, so he enrolled in the Self-Learning Program as soon as possible in December 2018. He was excited to catch up on all the missed years of education and to, one day, continue his education in formal schooling. In just a short amount of time, Zaid quickly progressed and made friends with other students in the program and focused his energy on his studies.”

I have always dreamed of being back to school and having friends, and that dream has come true now,” exclaimed Zaid.

Zaid is one of the thousands of children who dream of having such an opportunity to renew their hope and go back to learning. In 2020, UNICEF plans to reach 30,000 new Syrian children with learning opportunities. Your continued support will allow UNICEF to reach this goal. On behalf of the children of Syria, thank you.

 

In Partnership,

Whitney Simon

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Ahmad, left, and his fellow students  UNICEF
Ahmad, left, and his fellow students UNICEF

Dear Friend,

The Syria crisis, now in its ninth year, has had a disastrous impact on the lives of children, youth and their families across the region. Since 2011, the crisis has affected over 11.8 million Syrians. Due to your support, UNICEF has been able to work alongside partners to ensure that Syrian children are able to continue learning, despite the face that 1/3 of Syrian schools have been damaged or destroyed.

Four years ago, Ahmad was enjoying the summer break and preparing to enter sixth grade when violence escalated in his hometown of Mari'a in rural Deir-ez-Zor, Syria. Ahmad and his family had to flee the fighting. Ahmad, his parents and six siblings moved four times in the next three years, from one village to another, as the Syrian civil war raged around them. Last year, they finally settled in Areesheh camp in Al-Hasakeh Governate. "It was the most challenging time of my life," Ahmad recalls. "Imagine going from one place to another, barely staying a few months."

But Ahmad chose not to give up. His family fled with very few belongings. He grabbed some books from his father's library and a small blackboard. I didn't know how long I would be out of school. But I wanted to make sure that I did not forget what I had already learned.

Soon after Ahmad and his family moved into the tented camp of Areesheh in the Hassakeh Governate, UNICEF set up several tents to serve as an educational center for out-of-school children. At the center, children between the ages of 6 and 15 study English, Arabic, math and sciences, including physics and chemistry, using a Self-Learning Program (SLP), with the help of volunteers. Thanks to your support and to the Self-Learning Program from Educate A Child and UNICEF USA, their futures look brighter. "I always keep in mind that if I don't study now, I will regret it in the future," says Ahmad, wise beyond his years. Only a year into his studies at the center, Ahmad and 21 other students sat for placement exams and obtained their Grade 6 certificate.

Ahmad is just one of more than 139,000 students who have benefited from this program, and we so appreciate your support of ensuring their access to continued learning opportunities.

Ahmad dreams of becoming an engineer and is confident of what the future holds for him, with renewed hope to continue his education.

"What keeps me going, despite the displacement and violence I have witnessed, is that I know I will succeed. I'm not afraid of the future because I'm preparing myself for it, with my education."

Due to your support, UNICEF and partners continue to work across Syria and in neighboring countries to help provide children with essential health, education, protection and nutrition services and to help build families' resilience.

 

In Partnership,

Whitney Simon

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Organization Information

UNICEF USA

Location: New York - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Emma Pfister
New York, New York United States

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