A generation of children is losing any access to education before reaching adulthood.
Over 800,000 children remain out of school in north-west Syria, marking an increase of almost 40 per cent compared with the figure in 2019. According to the 2022 HNO, children living in displacement sites are one of the most affected population groups in terms of accessing education. They are less likely to attend any form of learning compared to children living outside of camps.
Almost half of the population in displacement sites in the north-west are children. However, out of 1,322 sites across the region, 851 sites have no dedicated learning spaces. 569 of these sites host at least 100 school-aged children, putting the education of about 225,000 children at risk.
More than three quarters of displaced people cite education as a priority but families across the region are unable to send their children to school because of the costs. The distance to school is another important barrier. More than 35,000 children need to travel at least three kilometres to reach any school.
Even for children with access to education services, many challenges still persist. This include learning in unsuitable environments, lacking sufficient teaching or learning supplies and overcrowding classrooms. One in three teachers are unpaid in the north-west, which leads to occasional teacher strikes. The last strike occurred in the beginning of 2022, forcing more than 40,000 students temporarily out of school. Overcrowding of learning spaces is a common issue nation-wide, but most pronounced in Idleb where there is only one operational classroom available for 178 students on average, according to HNO findings. This has forced schools to operate in triple and quadruple shifts to address the problem. Additionally, learning spaces are not sufficiently prepared for winter conditions, further disrupting learning.