About 40% of Syrian refugee children in Jordan are out of formal education, with 46% of urban refugee children and 15% of camp refugee children out of school. The barriers to education start at an early age, with most Syrian children between 0 and 5 having no access to early childhood development services.
Barriers to Education
There are many barriers that prevent children in Jordan’s host communities from accessing a quality education from an early age. Many families of school aged Jordanian and Syrian children simply cannot afford the costs of school fees, supplies, and transportation. Public schools in Jordan face many challenges when it comes to providing a quality education including overcrowded classrooms, bullying and the need for more effective teacher training. Abuse of girls at school has also been widely reported, with issues ranging from verbal and sexual harassment to corporal punishment. Syrian refugee children also often struggle to meet government requirements to enroll in school due to a lack of valid documentation.
As a result, vulnerable Jordanian and Syrian children, especially girls, are at greater risk of dropping out of school. Those who are not prepared for primary education may never attend school, and older children may instead turn to child labour and early marriage to meet their families’ short-term needs.
There is also a lack of flexible, informal sources of education, which restricts learning opportunities for children who are out of school. Plan International Jordan aims to fill these gaps in children’s education by supporting access to formal, non-formal, and informal education.
Access to Quality Education
Plan International Jordan promotes inclusive education, ensuring that all marginalised children have the support they need to learn and develop.
We collaborate with local partners to deliver flexible and innovative informal education for the most vulnerable children, focusing on strengthening literacy and numeracy skills and providing psychosocial support and life skills. Our programming gives at-risk children, including homebound girls, child labourers, and children with disabilities, greater opportunities to enroll in non-formal and formal education.
Plan International Jordan works with the Jordanian government to advocate for Syrians to take positions as teachers and to participate in school governance where they can play a key role in preventing dropouts. We also closely coordinate with the Ministry of Education and the Education Working Group to advocate for increased access to non-formal education for children and young people aged 8 to 20, particularly for those who have been forced into child labour.
Early Childhood Care and Development
Plan International Jordan provides early childhood care and development services for vulnerable children under 5 in both Jordan’s host communities and Azraq refugee camp. By creating safe child-friendly spaces for young Jordanian and Syrian refugee children to develop, we increase the chances that they will enroll in primary education.
We also work with parents and caregivers so they are able to play a key role in the development, learning and safety of their children. When children are in early learning classes, it allows their parents to either learn themselves or work so they can provide a better future for their families.