Regional Collaboration to Strengthen Education for Nationals & Syrian Refugees in Arabic Speaking Host Countries

By Louisa Viscontia and Diane Galb

International Journal of Educational Development Volume 61 (2018) Pages 106–116


As part of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) to assist Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt, UNICEF is coordinating the No Lost Generation (NLG) initiative in the education sector to support host countries to: (a) expand access to formal and non-formal education for Syrian refugees; (b) promote the provision of quality, relevant education; and (c) strengthen education systems at national and sub-national levels. The paper provides a good summary of the responses to, and constraints on, meeting the education needs of Syrian refugee children in the region. Drawing on a review of educational reforms in Jordan and Lebanon, the authors argue that to successfully address the prospect of a “lost generation” of refugees and problems of youth under- and unemployment in the region, education reform should be tackled regionally. They suggest that this can be achieved by: (i) standardizing school curricula (in science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as well as accreditation requirements for secondary education; (ii) developing regional databases in Arabic of evidence-based best teaching practices; and (iii) enhancing linkages between universities and industry to secondary schools. The authors argue that this would make education more portable for refugees, equalize learning opportunities, and make education more relevant for both refugees and nationals.


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