UNICEF ensures crisis-affected Syrian children keep learning

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Syrian children outside their UNHCR tent at Jordan's Za'atri refugee camp. [Photo: UNHCR/M. Abu Asaker]

The UN children's agency (UNICEF) is supporting a major push to ensure that Syrian children keep learning even as the crisis continues in their country.

UNICEF says it will launch a home-based self-learning programme this month together with the Syrian Ministry of Education and the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

According to the agency, the programme will enable over 400,000 children in conflict hot spots to continue following the national curriculum.

UNICEF spokesperson, Marixie Mercado says this is extremely important because education has taken a severe beating in the past two and a half years of conflict.

"Many children are shouldering pressures and responsibilities that no child should bear. Making sure that children can keep learning, even if only for a few hours a day, protects them and keeps them on a path to as normal a life as possible in the circumstances. Some 1.9 million students in grades one to nine dropped out of school over the last academic year. That's 39 per cent of 4,86 million registered students, according to the latest Ministry of Education data." (29")

Ms. Mercado says that 70 out of a planned total of 300 prefabricated classrooms are already in governorates that have seen significant damage to education infrastructure.

She adds that UNICEF has procured school material including bags with stationary supplies for up to a million children in all 14 governorates and distribution is underway.

There are also thousands of teaching-learning kits, recreations supplies and early childhood education material that are also being delivered, says Ms. Mercado.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33″

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