Education access for Syrian refugee children with disability in Jordan
Education Access for Syrian Refugee Children with Disability in JordanPrepared By AHS ED:MS. Annie Medzhagopian Abu Hanaa
Al-Hussein Society/Jordan Center for Training and Inclusion
AHS is a non-governmental organization (NGO) working in the field of physical challenges. AHS was established in 1971 when it initially began its services aiding government-run orphanages. Once involved in a volunteer program, AHS became aware of the need to address the lack of services for those with physical disabilities. Thus over the years, AHS evolved into the leading organization in Jordan that provides rehabilitation and educational services to persons with physical disabilities.
AHS vision -2020-Development of the AHS to become the regional Centre of Excellence for Specialist Training in Rehabilitation is part of the larger AHS organizational strategic vision to contribute in improving the quality of rehabilitation services available for persons with disabilities in Jordan through providing high quality development programs that are sustainable and meet international standardized criteria within the available resources. This strategy is consistent with the direction of the National Strategy for Persons with Disabilities
We need another revolution in the Arab world. We need an education revolution. If there's one thing we need to focus on, it's redesigning our educational systems. Queen Rania of JordanThe Harvard Arab Weekend, 2013.
Education in JordanGender/ EducationPrimarySecondary
Education access as reported by the SOWC(The State of the World Children Report, 2015).
98% of children aged 6-15 have access to schools, with 41% of the age group 5 years are out of pre-primary education, and 30,000 of the children are out of the primary and lower secondary education (UNICEF, 2015).Factors of poverty, disability and child labour are some of the main reasons for non-attendance(UNICEF, 2015).
Jordan Statistics 2016Distribution of Syrian Refugees
Education for Syrian RefugeesSyrian refugee children are allowed free access to Jordanian governmental primary and secondary schools.61.6% of Syrian refugee children are enrolled in schools, of whom 63.5% and 59.8% are girls and boys respectively.However, attendance rate decreases with higher education, indicating high dropping-out.Reports from Zaatari camp indicate lower level of education enrollment for children with disability.Lack in the official statistics in regard to children with disability enrollment in host communities.
Challenges of InclusionLack of sufficient information.Fears of inclusion among parents, students and school staff.Lack of adapted transportation for PWDs.The lack of environmental facilities and access of 95% of public schools.Lack of trained teachers who are familiar with people with disabilities.Lack of awareness among the community and school staff about the potential of persons with disabilities - mostly negative attitude.
Disability As a Barrier 10% of refugee children have at least one disability (mental, physical or intellectual) (a report by the, ESWG(Emergency Services Working group, 2015).Education is influenced by marginalization of children with disability according to their gender, type of disability, and socioeconomicstatus.
The responsibility for inclusion of Syrian refugees and Jordanian citizens lies with the Ministry of Education. However, this includes only vision, hearing and physical disabilities.
Organization working towards IntegrationIn the refugees camps, the efforts are directed toward inclusion by the UNICEF and several local and international organizations.
Outside the refugees camps, the efforts are scattered due to lack of coordination and insufficient information shared among the different organizations.
Why intervention?Education is for all!The increased load on the public school Double-shifted schools segregation!Lack of vision and services provided to children with disability. Our responsibility towards our children as well as avoiding the high risk of an under-educated generation among Syrian refugee children in general.
Goals expected to be achieved by AHS
Environmental adaptations of public schools in the region that will be selected to become friendly and inclusive for all types of disabilities.Change negative attitudes among school staff about disabilityAwareness of the capabilities and potential of persons with disabilities Awareness about the rights and disseminate international and national legislation.Awareness about services available Capacity building of school staff on different types of disabilities.The staff to be trained on how to deal with persons with disabilitiesProvide psychosocial support to school staff members.
Evidence of ImpactKnowledge , Attitude , Practices Survey Pre and Post Project implementation Period directed to the involved stakeholders mainly school principles, teachers, parents.SMART indicators included into the project design associated with each activityNo of integrated children with disabilities pre and post project durationPerformance indicators tested pre and post project duration.
What qualifies (AHS) to implement the project?
AHS adopts comprehensive holistic aproach in dealing with persons with disabilities Specialized department for Inclusion and Integration is available.Technical procedures are available to rehabilitate all the concerned in the process of inclusion starting with the students with disabilities, their families and ending with the staff and the students of the schools embracing inclusionTraining packages and comprehensive training manual are available in the field of inclusion with a focus of including persons with disabilities. Qualified trainers to train schools teachers are available.Counselling programs and trained staff are available to transfer knowledge in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation and training persons how to deal with persons with disabilities. AHS has also trained staff in advocacy and awareness raising.
What qualifies (AHS) to implement provide comprehensive inclusive services
AHS integrates 35-40 children with disabilities on annual basis into the mainstream schools from age 3 till 14 since 1984.Trained and qualified staff to implement environmental adaptation , according to local and international standards The AHS team implemented number of environmental adaptation in many schools in Amman and Al Zarqa within several development projects carried out by the Society.AHS partnership with the concerned ministries (Ministry of Education ,Higher Council for the Affairs of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Development) paves the way to get official approvals to have access to the public schools and collect relevant data.AHS is a member of disability task force at UNHCR to ensure coordination and for referral purposes at two levels inside and outside the camps.
Adaptation work at governmental schools implemented and supervised by AHS staff.