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Quality education, a fundamental right for all children, is essential for future generations to develop the skills to become lifelong learners. While much has been done to ensure and improve educational access for children across the globe, as we look to the future, we must continue to ask questions and deepen our understanding in order to design and adapt programs consider the local context and re-map our way forward. As we prepare both boys and girls for future success, we must make sure that their schools and classrooms provide safe and equitable opportunities for them to develop the key skills to gain employment or create new economic opportunities. There is a dire need to get children in opposition areas back to age-appropriate milestones based on the Government of Syria (GoS) national standards. Regardless of the nuances of the political outcome of the conflict, the international community is uniquely positioned to improve quality learning in opposition-held areas so that children can be reintegrated at the appropriate age-grade level and not fall behind. Syria is at risk of a situation in which a large portion of the student population is educated, and a significant portion is severely undereducated. That would result in further social and economic marginalization, which could aggravate the underpinning factors that could lead to ongoing and/or future conflict.
The education infrastructure in opposition-held Syria has been severely eroded as a result of increase insecurity and threat of attacks on educational institutions. It is estimated that one in four schools are no longer operational because they have been damaged, destroyed, or used to shelter the internally displaced or by armed groups in conflict.
At the core of Idarah is a stipend program designed to ensure access to schools, which has provided stipends to more than 11,000 school staff across more than 1,441 schools in three provinces reaching more than 445,000 students, providing access to education, including examinations for more than 37,333 students who enrolled in ninth and twelfth grade exams. Working closely with Education Directorates, Idarah has also helped strengthen the management of the education sector, including establishment of teacher management and payroll systems, and a complaints hotline for reducing opportunities for fraud and corruption.
The presentation will focus on the various areas of support focusing on Education Directorates and the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) to strengthen the education system which is highly impacted by the ongoing conflict and present lessons learned in implementing in a conflict setting. The presenter will describe the process from inception to implementation and focus on the design of the approach taking into consideration local expertise and international best practices. The discussion will focus on how through capacity building, Idarah designed interventions to improve learning outcomes based on an assessment that included reading, math, war stressors and school management issues.