Educating Syrian Refugees

Challenges Facing Host Countries

Published In: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, pages 1-6 (September 2017)

by Rita T. Karam, Gail L. Zellman

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Since the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011, more than 11 million Syrians have been displaced. More than 4.5 million have fled to three neighboring countries: Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Lebanon has taken in over a million Syrian refugees, swelling its population by 25%. Jordan has accepted over 600,000 refugees, increasing its population by 10%. The two million Syrian refugees now in Turkey have increased its population by 3% nation-wide, and between 10–20% in some local areas. These numbers are considered conservative as they include only registered Syrian refugees. This massive influx of refugees has created an education crisis for the host countries, as a large proportion of these refugees are school-aged children. However, this increased educational demand is not being met. As economic, political, and social influences continue to shape responses to the crisis, both host and wealthy countries in the region must recognize the permanency of refugees within their borders and work to develop sustainable long-term education services to refugee children.

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