After fleeing from the war in Syria, refugee children are not having access to schooling in the country of Lebanon. To what extent does safety trump the sacrifice of education for children? According to the Human Rights Watch, more than 250,000 Syrian school-aged children are not actually enrolled in the education system in Lebanon; that is more than half of the children that have fled to Lebanon to escape the war. While Lebanon has opened up free enrollment for Syrian children in public schools, the location of the refugee camps, the local policies on residency and work for Syrians, and the lack of resources available are keeping the children out school and pushing them to help their families.

The article in Al Jazeera focused on the outside influence of the education system for refugee children in places like Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. Where does the blame get placed? Is it the donors, the failure of the education system, or the policies of the host country that affect the refugee children education? Bassam Khawaja states that refugee education really depends on foreign aid because of the fact that refugees are fleeing to developing countries. One issue brought about was the lack of commitment to the funding that the donors were offering.  What was being pledged and reported was almost always greater than what has actually been materializing in the host countries for the refugees.

The topic of Syrian refugee education in Lebanon was reported by both Al Jazeera and The Human Rights Watch, one written by Bassam Khawaja, and the other heavily citing Bassam Khawaja. However, two different perspectives were presented: the economics of outside funding for education and the local circumstances of why the children were not pursuing an education. The promise of money for school funding only goes so far in crisis education. The day to day experience of living through a war and fleeing from violence, present issues in education that outside policies and money might not fix. Both articles share the same opinion though: children are not getting primary schooling, and this is an issue.

Click here for a closer look into the life of a Syrian Refugee in Lebanon.

Sources:

The Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/07/19/lebanon-250000-syrian-children-out-school

Al Jazeera: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/09/educate-refugee-children-lose-160919102949662.html

A World at School: http://www.aworldatschool.org/pages/no-lost-generation-the-promise-of-education-for-syrian-refugees

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