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Our Work In Syria

Monday, Jan 29, 2018
by Cory Steinhauer

Education in Syria

Humanitarian Institute has been engaging in Syria for the past 3 years. We support opposition actors provide transparent Governance services, with a focus on equitable education.


As instability in Syria has worsened, so too has the quality of education. Insecurity and displacement have taken hold. Over two million Syrian children are out of school and more at risk of dropping out.

This is a jarring change from seven years ago.

In 2011, almost all children were enrolled in school. Literacy rates were over 90% and Numeracy rates similarly high. Syrian children could expect a decent education and the relative stability from living in a middle-income country.

The conflict has resulted in 2.1 million Syrian students not in school, with 1.4 million school age children fleeing to neighbouring countries.

With conflict escalating since the Arab Spring, these positive trends have reversed into points of crisis. The UN states that “Since 2011, Syria’s development situation has regressed by almost four decades... and Syria has witnessed reversals in all 12 recorded Millennium Development Goals indicators”.

Education quality has deteriorated across all areas of Syria. One-third of schools are non-functioning, having been damaged, destroyed or used as shelter. School attendance has halved and learning outcomes have plummeted. Over 90% of grade 3 children aren’t reading at the grade-level. Numeracy rates are similarly low.

This has resulted in 5.8 million Syrian children in need of educational assistance.

The statistics are as shocking as they are disheartening.

Importance of Education

Education is an important contributor to peace and stability. Quality education structures provide a platform for social justice and economic empowerment. And equitable education strengthens social cohesion, promoting peace and pacifying conflict.

This is the logic underlying the importance of rebuilding school education systems in opposition controlled Syria. If not properly addressed, social ills will likely exacerbate. Learning difficulties compound; economic security is constrained; political instability ensues.

Access to equitable and effective education are inextricably linked with social stability.

No solution is easy. Flexibility and adaptability in programming is a must. But we can’t stand by and not act.

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