Education Interrupted: Enrollment, Attainment, and Dropout of Syrian Refugees in Jordan

Abstract

The children affected by the Syrian conflict are at risk of becoming a “lost generation” due to interruptions in their schooling, including among the large population of Syrian refugee children hosted in neighboring countries. Host countries’ policy response to refugee education plays a critical role in whether and for how long refugee children resume schooling after displacement. This paper assesses how educational enrollment, attainment, and dropout of Syrian refugees in Jordan have been affected by conflict, displacement, and educational opportunities and experiences after arrival to Jordan. We rely on nationally representative survey data from Jordan in 2016 and in- depth interviews with Syrian refugee youth. Syrian refugees in Jordan faced disrupted schooling in Syria due to the conflict, followed by a number of multidimensional supply- and demand- side barriers to education in Jordan. Yet ultimately enrollment rates, at least through 2016, have recovered to pre-conflict levels for basic education among the group of Syrians in Jordan, with important lessons for other countries struggling to protect refugee children’s education.

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