Five years after the Syrian crisis began in March 2011, an estimated 13.5 million people are now in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. A total of 6.5 million people, of which 2.8 million are children, has been internally displaced.1 Almost 4.2 million people, 1.4 million of which are school-age children, have left the country as refugees.2 If children do not return to school, the loss of human capital formation due to the increased dropout from school could reach US$10.7 billion, or 17.7 per cent of Syria’s 2010 gross domestic product.3 Indeed, the economy has contracted by more than 40 per cent since the crisis began. The literature estimates that life expectancy has reduced by almost 13 years, and that, thus far, Syria’s development has regressed by as much as four decades.4 The crisis has deeply impacted children and their ability to access high quality education with equity.
In October 2015, 5.4 million school age children were in need of humanitarian assistance.5 Education, as well as other social services, have been compromised by the crisis through the destruction of infrastructure, population shifts, loss of life and consequent distress.
This document thus seeks to describe the current state of education in areas controlled by the Government of Syria using three sources of data: (1) education census data; (2) survey results from 59 schools; and (3) relevant literature written on the subject. Because the circumstances within Syria are neither static nor homogeneous, any remedial interventions proposed require further investigation and should, in all cases, be contextualized appropriately for the circumstances at that time and for that area.