[Lebanon] Language Barriers Prevent Syrian Children from Attending School
“I want them to go to school, but it’s so far away. I can’t afford the cost of transport. It’s also difficult because here they speak French or English at school. My children won’t understand anything”, explained Dima’s sister.
A critical problem facing Syrian children in Lebanon is that the education system uses French or English as the language of instruction, with Arabic only reserved for language courses and sometimes history lessons. Conversely, in Syria the education system is entirely in Arabic.
A rapid needs assessment carried out in late 2012 by the UN children’s fund in Lebanon (UNICEF) and Save the Children also cited language barriers as the principal obstacle for Syrians in Lebanon. The report found that most Syrians would like their children to learn either French or English as they see it as a “chance for upward mobility”.
In addition, the Lebanese education system is unable to cope with the influx of Syrians across the border. More than 160,000 Syrians are officially registered with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Lebanon and a further 71,358 are awaiting registration. This number is increasing rapidly as up to 3,000 Syrians are crossing the borders daily to Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.
[KENYA] Dadaab — A mix of cultural practices, such as early and forced marriage, as well as child labour, are depriving girls of education in the Dadaab refugee complex in eastern Kenya.
Out of Dadaab’s estimated population of 463,000 mainly Somali refugees, more than half are children under 18; of these about 38 percent attend school. The proportion of girls in the camps’ primary and secondary schools is 38 and 27 percent, respectively, according to the UN Refugee Agency. A third of girls aged between 5 and 13 in Dabaab go to school; for those aged 14 to 17, only one in 20 are enrolled.
DADAAB, Kenya (August 11, 2011) - As the influx of Somali refugees across the border to Kenya is increasing every day, CARE draws attention to the lack of sufficient primary education for children living in the refugee camps of Dadaab.
The latest numbers of officially registered refugees issued by the United Nations on August 8, 2011, list 399,346 people currently living in Dadaab, a number that is expected to keep growing. Amongst the total refugee population, approximately 114,000 are children at the age of 5 to 13, and only 38 percent are currently enrolled in school.