Giving Compass' Take:

• Syrian refugees are still facing many obstacles when it comes to education. They are now the largest national group of refugees, and countries in the Middle East are having difficulty helping Syrian children attend schools. 

• What key areas need to be addressed in the refugee crisis to provide these children with a comprehensive education? 

• Read the Giving Compass guide on how to respond to the refugee crisis. 

In 2017, the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, estimated that globally 68.5 million people had been forcefully displaced—the worst such crisis since World War II. Of these, 40 million were internally displaced peoples (IDPs), 25.4 million were refugees, and 3.1 million were asylum seekers. Over half were minors and over half of those minors were out of school.

These numbers are comparable (primary school) or worse (secondary) for Syrian refugees, who constitute the largest national group of refugees at 6.3 million.

Syrian refugees aged 5 through 18 in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey respectively number 240,000, 390,000, and 1,035,000. Children under 5 are respectively at 102,000, 154,000, and 535,000. In these neighboring countries of Syria, approximately 40 percent of 1.7 million school-aged refugee children are out of school—actual numbers may be higher. A situation that portends further social challenges for host countries and for Syria as refugees return.

Turkey has 610,000 Syrian children in formal education: 61 percent in public schools, the rest in Temporary Education Centers (TECs) where 13,000 Syrians teach a modified Syrian curriculum. To better integrate a population unlikely to go home soon, TECs are being phased out and children are transferring to Turkish public schools. There are fears that older children may drop out as they face classes in Turkish, while the fate of Syrian teachers in the TECs remains unclear.

Lebanon has some 220,000 refugee children in school including 150,000 in double shifts in public schools. This leaves at least 170,000 or 44 percent out of school. The World Bank notes that only 10 percent of Syrian refugee children are in secondary school; the UNHCR says it is 5 percent.

Among key recommendations to deal with this challenge by KidsRights and others is livelihood support, including facilitating work permits and/or broader employment opportunities for adult refugees.

Read the full article about Syrian refugees by Omer Karasapan and Sajjad Shah at Brookings