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HRW urges better schooling of Syrian refugee kids in Jordan

16 August 2016 22:49

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Human Rights Watch has called on the Jordanian government to ease the access of Syrian refugee children to education, saying thousands have been deprived of schooling just because they lack required paperwork.

The HRW said in a detailed report on Tuesday that a series of obstacles is preventing Syrian children from going to school in Jordan.

The report said restrictions imposed on the entry of refugee children to schools in Jordan last year may make “tens of thousands” ineligible to enroll in schools ahead of the new academic year starting in September.

It said some 80,000 school-aged Syrian children in Jordan received no formal education in the last school year, adding that many were barred from public schools for lack of “service cards” issued to Syrians living outside formal refugee camps.

The HRW said tens of thousands will not be able to meet the stringent criteria or lack the required paperwork, making them ineligible to go to public schools this year.

“Authorities should expand efforts to realize the fundamental right to education for all Syrian children,” the HRW noted, appreciating Jordan’s “generous efforts” to enroll Syrians in its public schools, which were already struggling with capacity and quality issues before the influx of refugees.


Syrian refugees stand at a refugee camp close to the northern Jordanian city of Mafraq near the border with Syria, July 14, 2016. (AFP) 

Nearly 1.4 million refugees, of whom 630,000 are registered with the United Nations, are hosted on the Jordanian soil. The kingdom has opened schools in refugee camps and put in place a “double shift” system to give more school places to Syrians. However, the HRW says over a third of the 226,000 school-aged Syrians registered with the UN refugee agency in Jordan received no formal education in the last school year.

The US-based rights group said children, who have been out of education for three or more years, are barred from entering schools under Jordanian regulations, making the situation more complicated.

Jordan has lamented over the past years that it is not receiving enough international support for its hosting of refugees. The government said recently that donations from the international community have only covered 35 percent of the cost of hosting the refugees.

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