European Commission DG ECHO
Beirut (Agenzia Fides) – More than half the 500,000 school-age refugee children from Syria, registered in Lebanon cannot attend school because of limited availabilityof resources and strict Lebanese government residence policies. This was reported by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a recent survey. The same report also highlighted positive steps towards giving access to free schooling for Syrian children refugees. In a report sent to Fides, the NGO underlines that education is crucial for helping children overcome the trauma of war and homelessness besides having a positive role in the future rebuilding Syria.
Lebanon organised a series of evening classes in 238 schools to meet the needs growing numbers of school age children for the school year 2015-2016. Syrian schools are offering more places for Syrian refugees despite scarce economic resources . A reported 70% of Syrian families are unable to pay for school material and fees.
Besides the question of limited funds other elements which impede school attendance include abuse and maltreatment, little knowledge of the local language and norms for requesting places at school. Middle school-age children and those over 15 have difficulty regarding residence permits. Lebanon last year opened 200,000 spaces for Syrian refugees in public schools, but only 158,000 children enrolled, and 10,000 fewer actually attended. In Lebanon at present there are 1.1 million legally registered Syrians half of them minors, although the authorities claim the numbers are higher. (AP) (23/7/2016 Agenzia Fides)