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Programme offers ‘catch-up’ classes for Syrian children in Azraq camp

By JT - May 28,2014 - Last updated at May 28,2014

AMMAN — The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and UNICEF have begun providing “the first learning opportunities to vulnerable Syrian refugee children” at the Azraq Refugee Camp through an education programme launched this week.

The NRC-UNICEF programme will ensure that refugee children affected by Syrian conflict do not fall further behind and gives them a “sense of normalcy”, the NRC said in a statement released earlier this week.

“NRC and UNICEF are the first humanitarian partners to begin providing Syrian refugee children in the camp with the chance to continue their education,” said the council, which provides assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide, including more the 700,000 in the region. 

“These ‘catch-up’ classes in Arabic, English, math and science are based on the Jordanian curriculum and taught by Jordanian teachers,” the statement said, adding that the NRC is also providing children with recreational and sports activities.  

The UNICEF-supported school where these activities take place is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and is not set to open until the start of the next school year in September. 

“But with Azraq camp already a month old and now with more than 5,772 people calling it their temporary home, there is a vital need to support children in the camp,” the NRC said.    

The council has registered more than 290 children in the first week and will temporarily use the site until a new one is ready this summer.  

Of the total residents of the Azraq camp, which lies 100km east of Amman, 53 per cent are children, 20 per cent of whom are less than five years old, according to UNHCR figures.

“NRC is working with UNICEF and the Education Ministry to develop pathways back to formal education for children who have been out of the system for long periods of time,” the statement quoted NRC Jordan Country Director Robert Beer as saying.

“We want to see Syrian refugee children and youths access quality education and learning opportunities that prepare them for the future,” Beer added.

The education programme is supported by Norway, the EU, Germany, Italy, the US, and Kuwait.

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