By Brenda Sinclair and Michel Rosseau with significant contributions from the Chemonics Injaz Chief of Party, Michele Bradford
The prolonged Syrian crisis has precipitated mass displacement, economic collapse, and an education crisis that has reversed years of educational achievement in Syria, leaving an estimated 1.75 million Syrian children out of school.
The Deir Ezzor governorate, located in northeast Syria, is demographically bifurcated into western and eastern areas, largely along lines of tribal affiliations. Upon liberation from ISIS, formal schools started to re-open in non-Regime areas of Western Deir Ezzor (DZ) in early 2018. In early 2019, schools re-opened in the last ISIS stronghold, Baghouz town in Eastern DZ, which was liberated on March 23, 2019. After five years of school closures, schools in Eastern and Western DZ lack basic resources to meet the diverse needs of displaced students still suffering from the traumatic effects of the war and limited schooling.
The Chemonics Injaz project, funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), conducted this Snapshot of School Management Effectiveness (SSME) in February 2019 to identify urgent needs of primary and secondary schools in the Deir Ezzor governorate. The SSME study will provide donors and implementers with reliable data on the current status of education in the Deir Ezzor governorate to support the design of high-impact and context-relevant programmes.
The survey targeted all schools currently operating in six subdistricts of Deir Ezzor governorate (Abu Jazrat, Abu Khashub, Busayrah, Jarwan, Jezrat, and Kasrah), as reported by the respective local council that manages education. Of 368 schools identified, the field team found 360 functioning and eight schools that were closed, inaccessible, or re-purposed for IDP gatherings or military use by the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF). Reflecting the actual composition of schools, the majority of schools surveyed were primary (87 percent), 12 percent were mixed primary and intermediate, and less than 1 percent were intermediate only (grades 7-9). There were no high schools with upper secondary classes, grades 10 or higher.
The assessment methodology consisted of quantitative surveys and observation tools developed based on international best practices and validated SSME instruments from previous studies in Syria, including an SSME study on the Raqqa Governorate conducted by the Injaz project in October 2018. The five SSME tools included a school observation survey, classroom inventory, principal questionnaire, teacher questionnaire, and student questionnaire. These instruments examined various facets of school management and teaching practice, such as school type, facilities, access, school schedule, personnel, management, teaching methodology, assessment, and parental support amongst other relevant themes.