Joint Assessment of the Educational Needs of Out-of-School Children (JENA) – December 2019 – Syrian Arab Republic


ABSTRACT

The Joint Education Needs Assessment (JENA) is a comprehensive participatory assessment of education for out-of-school children (OOSC) in non-governmental areas of northwestern Syria. JENA is carried out under the supervision of the Education Cluster, the hub of Turkey and Save the Children International (SCI), implemented and coordinated by the Information Management Unit (IMU) of the Coordination Unit of the assistance (ACU) with the cooperation of thirteen members of Education. The clusters are all Syrian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), namely, Ataa, Bahar, Banafsaj, Binaa, Bonyan, Education Sans Frontières (MIDAD), IhsanRD, Matar, Qudra, Sadad, Shafaq, Syria Relief and Takaful Al-Sham.

ACU’s IMU developed the methodology used for this report in collaboration with the Education Cluster in Turkey and SCI; where quantitative and qualitative approaches have been used to process and present the OOSC data; JENA includes the results of 7,208 surveys of the OOSC and their caregivers; 115 key informant interviews (KII); and four Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). JENA covers 112 communities, including 26 regular and random camps, in addition to 86 towns and villages of varying sizes, services provided and a different geographic distribution.

  • Section 2: Information on the communities assessed

This study was carried out in 112 communities, of which 77% were towns and villages (86 towns); 23% (26 camps) regular and random camps; 7 camps in the governorate of Aleppo and 19 camps in the governorate of Idleb; a set of criteria has been developed to be applied to any chosen community, taking into account the geographic distribution of the communities. The number of schools covered within the communities reached 528, of which 20% (105 schools) were non-functional schools and 423 functional schools.

The number of school-aged children in northwestern Syria (in the districts assessed) reached 1,712,468; and according to JENA, 34% (582,239 children) of these school-aged children are out of school. Among JENA’s findings, the percentage of OOSC increases in higher education levels (the higher the education level, the higher the percentage of OOSC). In addition, the percentage of female OOSC is always higher than that of male OOSC.

  • Section 3: Results of perception surveys

The number of children interviewed by the investigators reached 3,670 OOSCs; girls represent 38% (1,407 girls) of the total number of children surveyed and boys represent 62% (2,263 children). 9% (345 children) of the children surveyed living with a disability. The investigators interviewed 3,538 caregivers raising the OOSC, with 36% female caregivers (1,273 female caregivers) of the total number of caregivers and 64% male caregivers (2,265 male caregivers). According to JENA, it can be seen that among the OOSCs surveyed, 8% (190 children) who were over 12 years old are married, and 51% (1,858 children) work to support their families. The report also monitors the type of child labor in which the OOSC is involved.

  • Section 4: Children who attended and dropped out of school

JENA found that 25% (909 children) of OOSCs attended school before dropping out, and the majority of children confirmed that they attended school before their displacement. The report includes information on those who made the decision to drop out of school for children. In addition to the reasons linked to the educational environment leading to children dropping out of school, there is frequent travel, in addition to not having schools nearby in the places of displacement. The first reason associated with the educational process is the lack of recognized certificates issued by schools. According to the OOSC, the main reason related to the living conditions which pushes the children to drop out of school is the uselessness of education which does not guarantee employment opportunities according to their point of view. In addition to the reasons linked to customs and traditions which force children to drop out of school, schools are mixed and parents do not allow their children to study there. The number one personal reason children have for dropping out of school is because they don’t have anyone in their family to help them with their homework and keep track of their grade level.

  • Section 5: Children who have never attended school

JENA reveals that 75% (2,761 children) of OOSCs surveyed have never been to school. In addition to the reasons linked to the educational environment leading to children dropping out of school, there is frequent travel, in addition to not having schools nearby in the places of displacement. The first reason associated with the educational process is the lack of recognized certificates issued by schools. According to the OOSC, the main reason related to the living conditions that pushes children to drop out of school is the uselessness of education which does not guarantee employment opportunities. Added to the reasons linked to customs and traditions that force children to drop out of school is the fact that schools are mixed and parents do not allow their children to study, as 107 women and 38 men said they did not. attend schools because the schools are mixed. In addition, some parents have refused to teach their children in mixed schools at all levels of education. The number one personal reason children have for dropping out of school is because they don’t have anyone in their family to help them with their homework and keep track of their grade level.

  • Section 6: Factors contributing to children’s return to school

This section presents a range of factors and demands raised by the OOSC and their guardians that could contribute to the return of children to school. According to the children, the main factor, in relation to the educational process, is the provision of an appropriate educational environment (adapted schools equipped with all teaching materials), in addition to the provision of safe schools. While the first factor, in terms of the educational process, is to provide a mechanism for the recognition of certificates issued by schools or to link them to universities where students can continue their higher education. In addition to factors linked to living conditions, there is the distribution of humanitarian aid in schools to prevent children from dropping out of school to support their families. The first factor related to customs and traditions is having single-sex schools (separate schools for female students and other schools for male students). In addition to the personal factors of the children, there is the provision of special classes for late students to allow them accelerated learning so that they can catch up with their peers in the grades corresponding to the age of the OOSC. .

  • Section 7: Extra-curricular educational programs

JENA shows that only 8% (277 children) of OOSCs surveyed joined extra-curricular educational programs. In contrast, 92% (3,393 children) did not join these programs. In addition, 32% (88 children) of the children who participated in the after-school educational programs continued to attend these programs, while others did not continue to attend the programs for several reasons covered in this evaluation. It should be noted that among the most prominent out-of-school education programs implemented in Northwestern Syria are e-learning, distance learning, self-study program, and self-study program. literacy and basic arithmetic. There are also a number of OOSCs that take Sharia or Quran memorization courses.

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