In response to the challenges posed by the escalating influx of Syrian refugees into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the UNESCO Amman Office is launching a 4.3 million Euro project funded by the EU to sustain quality education and promote skills development opportunities for young Syrian refugees and young Jordanians impacted by the humanitarian crisis.
“Conflict and displacement can have a devastating impact on the educational prospects of displaced persons as well as burden the education systems of neighboring host communities,” says Anna Paolini, Director of UNESCO’s Office in Amman. “UNESCO plays an active role in promoting education as a key tool in preventing conflict and rebuilding lives in emergency and post-conflict situations.”
The UNESCO Amman Office, the Ministry of Education and its local partners, among which are the Queen Rania Training Academy (QRTA), and Questscope, are combining their expertise in this three-year project to: i) address qualified teachers’ gap by building their capacities in teaching and mentoring strategies in emergency situations; and ii) offer demand-driven informal and non-formal education programmes and vocational skills development opportunities for Syrian youth inside the refugee camps and for Jordanian and Syrian youth in urban areas.
UNESCO will deliver teacher training that adheres to internationally-recognized standards and guidelines for education in emergency and post conflict situations as provided by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Minimum Standards. Furthermore, UNESCO will map the needs of youth through a comprehensive census leading to further provision of demand-driven vocational training, literacy and livelihood programs, as well as mentoring, informal and non-formal education in the camps and urban areas.
Although the Government of Jordan has put several measures in place to support the Syrian refugees in education, the constant increase in new arrivals places a heavy strain on the system. With Syrian refugees numbering 144,997 (either registered or awaiting registration with UNHCR) at the end of 2012 – 55% of which are children under the age of 18 – educational opportunities for conflict-affected youth are needed to enable them to develop resilient attitudes, catch up with school, or acquire new skills that would enhance their future employment prospects.