Watchdog praises Jordan for steps taken to educate Syrian children

Human Rights Watch (HRW) praised in a statement Monday Jordan's education minister for instructing public schools to allow Syrian refugee children to register in the autumn term.

"Jordan's Education Ministry has taken an important step by ordering schools to accept Syrian children this fall even if they don't have their papers in order," said Bill Van Esveld, senior children's rights researcher at HRW.

HRW said that other plans include doubling the number of schools operating "double shifts" to create spaces for up to 50,000 more Syrian students as well as establishing a "catch-up" programme to reach another 25,000 children aged from 8 to 12.

Last week, the watchdog called on Jordan to change its procedures to allow more Syrian refugee children to enrol for the coming academic year, saying that a third of school-aged Syrian children registered as refugees in the country were not in education.

According to the watchdog, more than one third of school-aged Syrian children registered with the United Nations refugee agency in Jordan - over 80,000 out of 226,000 children - were not in formal education during the last school year.

Syria's conflict, which started in 2011 with peaceful protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, has spiralled into a multi-sided civil war that has cost at least a quarter of a million lives.

Some 4.8 million of Syria's pre-war population of 22.4 million have fled abroad, with another 8.7 million predicted to be displaced inside the country in 2016, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

Last update: Mon, 22/08/2016 - 17:32

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