Amman, 04 February, 2014 – UNICEF and partners in Jordan are expanding education programmes to reach the alarming number of “stay at home” children who have fallen behind by three or more grades and are no longer eligible to enrol in formal schooling.
UNICEF estimates there are nearly 60,000 Syrian children and other vulnerable Jordanians who are too far behind in their studies to enrol in the public school system and need to be urgently connected to informal education opportunities.
Many of these children spend the majority of time in their family’s home. They report feeling bored and frustrated, with little hope for a future they see as having few opportunities.
Syrian children are also trying to cope with the emotional distress of living through conflict and displacement and are vulnerable to exploitation or abuse. Many parents see keeping their children at home as a protective measure. In a psychosocial assessment of youth in Za’atari refugee camp, the most common way young people coped with their problems – 71 per cent – was to ‘withdraw or hide.’
This year, UNICEF and partners are planning to reach an additional 30,000 “stay at home” Syrian and vulnerable Jordanian children through catch-up and informal education programmes across the country.
Existing programs will expand, such as informal education classes at the Baqa’a community centre in East Amman where over 2,000 children are on the waiting list. There will also be an additional 26 centres opening across the country.
Enrolling “stay at home” children in learning opportunities is critical in providing a sense of purpose, safety and normalcy, as well as reconnecting children with their peers and communities. Informal and remedial classes can lead children back into the formal schooling system or provide vital life skills and basic education to ensure a future.
More than 80 per cent of some 595,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan live in the country’s towns and villages rather than camps. UNICEF is looking to further scale up its programming to reach all children in Jordan with vital learning opportunities.
For more information please contact:
Toby Fricker, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Jordan – firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +962 (0) 796 325 153
Fatima Azzeh, Communication Officer, UNICEF Jordan – email@example.com Tel: +962 (0) 797 056 306