Young female refugees’ education: from policies to pedagogical practices

Forced Migration, Global Policies, Legal Approaches and Citizenship

by Naima Ahmad Al-husban

The 21st century has witnessed many flues of refugees, and the Syrian refugee crisis is considered one of the severe and complex humanitarian emergencies because Jordan hosted 1.3 million Syrians, 661,997 UNHCR registered. About 36% of the registered Syrian refugees are school aged children. Therefore, since the outset of the crisis the official authorities in Jordan worked collaboratively to support the public education system by formulating a response strategy to ensure continued access to quality public education in a safe environment especially for females. The overall objective of the response strategy is to reduce educational barriers and facilitate Syrian children in returning to schools in Jordanian host communities. Therefore, Syrian refugees were provided the opportunities to be enrolled either at UNRWA schools, or public schools of the MoE in the host communities as well as establishing schools in camps for Syrian refugees.   Only 50% of female Syrian refugees of school-going age attended primary education, and this percent becomes less and less by time.

This leads to an assumption that in spite of the efforts to provide Syrian refugees with quality equation, they did not attend classes regularly or they did not want to attend. Education Sector Working Group and the Ministry of education  clarified that  the reasons for the low formal attendance rates amongst Syrian children could be related to issues related to the lack of the skills that help refugees to cope with the demands of the subjects in their grades, especially teachers do not have time to build refugee student’s skills due to the limited time of instruction in double shift schools, several studies stated that shift schools are associated with lower quality of education globally,  and it is noticed that the highest number of Syrian refugees attended double shift schools about 69277 in 2021 according to the MoE in Jordan . Likewise, Syrian students faced some discrimination and bullying, so parents prefer to marry their girls to avoid these problems and because they could not afford their expenses.

Reviewing literature revealed that there are few studies that investigated the gap between the policies and the strategic aims of the official institutions and the target NGOs and actual implementations of these policies regarding the innovation that could be implemented in the field of teacher education and planning curricula as they are factor could stimulate the continuity of female refugees access to schools. This study will try to spot more light on this area by implementing a qualitative methodology, namely, document analysis and conducting interviews with the target groups: teachers of refugees, parents, students to identify the challenges facing female regufees in their education and proposing solutions to ensure their continuity of education.

The Researcher will analyze the strategy response and policies issued by official authorities in Jordan and compare the findings of the content analysis with the qualitative data collected by interviews to identify Female refugees’ challenges and weakness that MoE should work on to mitigate their effect  on  girls’ education in the near future.


Naima Ahmad Al-husban

Naima Al-husban is an assistant professor at Arab Open University- Jordan, she is interested in working with refugees, she has an experience in this field by working as a volunteer in HOPES  project that has been funded by EU, and provides chanced for young refugees to study at universities. She has several publications in the filed of education specially refugee student’ perceptions to certain issue like open learning, and she is so interested in investigating further the issues behind school- age  female refugees dropping out, and how to solve this issue, because education is the weapon of girls.