Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Educating Syrian Refugee Children

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Educating Syrian Refugee Children

Article excerpt

About half of the 4 million refugees who have left Syria because of its five-year-old Syrian civil war have been children. About 40% of them are under age 12.

After arriving in countries of first asylum, Syrian children have encountered various disruptions and barriers to receiving an adequate education, according to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute. The deterioration of Syria's education system means that many children arrive in refugee camps already at an educational disadvantage. About half were not enrolled in school in mid-2015; enrollment may be as low as 20% in Lebanon and 30% in Turkey. Even when they do enroll, Syrian children are more likely than their non-refugee peers to receive poor or failing grades or to drop out. Children may struggle to bridge gaps in their learning after substantial educational disruptions, particularly when contending with language barriers or new curricula.

Syrian refugee children are also at risk for a range of mental health issues, having experienced very high levels of trauma: 79% had experienced a death in the family; 60% had seen someone get kicked, shot at, or physically hurt; and 30% had themselves been kicked, shot at, or physically hurt. …

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