The Syrian civil war, which began in March 2011, has subsequently displaced nearly 12 million people—more than 4 million of them beyond Syria’s borders. Children under the age of 18 represent about half of the Syrian refugee population, with approximately 40 percent under the age of 12. As the refugee crisis continues to unfold, this report takes stock of what is happening to these displaced children.
Upon arrival in countries of first asylum, Syrian children have encountered various disruptions and barriers to receiving an adequate education. Approximately half were not enrolled in school in mid-2015; enrollment rates may be as low as 20 percent in Lebanon and 30 percent in Turkey. Even when they do enroll, Syrian children are more likely than their nonrefugee peers to receive poor or failing grades, or to drop out. Children may struggle to bridge gaps in their learning after substantial educational disruptions, particularly when contending with language barriers or new curricula.