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83,920 refugee children in Jordan out of school — UNHCR

By Elizabeth Turnbull - Aug 20,2019 - Last updated at Aug 21,2019

Worldwide, only 61 per cent of refugee children attended primary school, and only 23 per cent continued attending secondary school in 2017, according to UNHCR (Photo courtesy of UNHCR Jordan Facebook page)

AMMAN — Of the 233,000 refugee children of school age in Jordan, 83,920 are out of school and are not enrolled in any formal or informal education system, according to UNHCR data released this month.

“Despite improvements made over the last few years, 84,000 refugee school-aged children remain out of school in Jordan,” UNHCR spokesperson Lilly Carlisle told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

“Access to quality education continues to be a challenge for many, especially the most vulnerable, who are often forced to drop out of school to support their families,” she said. 

Worldwide, 91 per cent of children attended primary school in 2017, while only 61 per cent of  refugee children attended primary school, and only 23 per cent of refugee children continued to secondary school, meaning that the children who are often in the greatest need of a routine and stability provided by school are deprived of this resource, according to UNHCR data examining education.

While 94 per cent of Syrian children were enrolled in primary and lower-secondary education in 2009, for Syrian refugee children living in the host countries of Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt in 2017, this number dropped to only 59 per cent, meaning 700,000 Syrian refugee children were not benefitting from officially recognised education, according to the UNHCR.

Furthermore, the global average of Syrian refugees attending college was at a mere 1 per cent in 2017, although this number rose to 5 per cent for Syrian refugees of school age living in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, according to the UNHCR.

“Jordan has generously opened up its education system and many schools are now operating a double-shift system allowing refugee children to get an education but more needs to be done to ensure that all children, regardless of nationality, are able to achieve their full potential,” Carlisle said.

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