Syrian Refugees' Access to Education in Lebanon: Obstacles to Implementation
McCarter, Laura Margaret
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Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria, an estimated 11 million Syrians have fled their homes. The conflict within Syria dramatically increased population flows to neighboring countries, especially Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon. Of these, Lebanon hosts the largest per capita number of Syrian refugees with over 1 million Syrians living in Lebanon as refugees as of June 2017. This thesis asks why Syrian refugee children in Lebanon have limited access to education. Given that over half of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon are school-aged children, the main question behind this research is: what factors explain the low enrollment rate of Syrian refugees in schools in Lebanon? Though the Lebanese Ministry of Education issued a memorandum instructing all public schools to allow Syrians to enroll, approximately 250,000 school-age Syrian refugees were out of school during the 2015-2016 school year. Why is this? Based on a local case study of dynamics impacting refugees within the Bekaa governorate of Lebanon, I find that Syrian refugees do not suffer from a lack of international attention or even an overall lack of aid. Instead, actors at the local level, particularly an unofficial authority known as the Shawish, most heavily influence Syrian refugees, their access to aid, and their access to education.
- Masters Theses