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Bridging learning gaps for youth- UNESCO education response to the Syria crisis (2015-2016)

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Capitalizing on the achievements made so far and stressing the need for a holistic and sustained assistance to education systems affected by the Syria crisis, UNESCO is scaling up its response. The conflict in Syria is entering its fifth year and has created a profound humanitarian and development crisis, leaving a devastating impact on access to quality education in countries affected. From the beginning of conflict, more than 3 million children and youth have been forced out of school in Syria. The latest region-wide analysis indicates a learning gap of nearly up to 70% for the generation of Syrian refugee youth, aged 15 to 30 years, without adequate quality education and training opportunities.

UNESCO is launching “Bridging Learning Gaps for Youth”, a two-year programme that supports access to quality secondary and higher education, teacher training, as well as the resilience of education systems in affected countries, in particular Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

Evidence shows that the impact of the Syria crisis on education remains neglected. If countries fail to provide young people with the knowledge and skills to fulfil their aspirations and contribute to recovery and development, the region will face greater challenges including high levels of unemployment, violence, criminality and extremism. By building resilient education systems, education can tip the balance in favor of peace.

“Bridging Learning Gaps for Youth” is fully aligned with the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP). It supports the No Lost Generation (NLG) strategy, and is an integral part of the nationally-led response processes. Therefore, it constitutes a concrete contribution to the call for complementarity and synergy within the humanitarian and development assistance community.