The Kurdistan Region of Iraq, 12 April 2016 – Today, Syrian students celebrated the opening of a new school in Basirma camp. The inauguration ceremony was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Education and Local Administration of the Kurdistan Region, teachers and parents.
The Roj Awa Secondary School will be open to multiple shifts, allowing more than 500 students to access secondary schooling. The inauguration ceremony will mark the beginning of a comprehensive outreach initiative to enrol students for the next academic year.
Secondary schooling has existed in Basirma camp since 2014/15. However, the previous structure was small and could only host up to 60 students. The old school has now been replaced with a new building, constructed by UNESCO under the project ‘Improving access to secondary education for Syrian refugees in Iraq’, funded by the Government of Japan.
The new pre-fabricated building – comprised of six classrooms, one administration room, one storage and three toilet units – has been furnished and equipped by UNESCO. Three of the classrooms have been provided by the Norwegian Refugee Council.
Over 240,000 Syrians have entered Iraq since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, with 97 per cent concentrated in the three Northern governorates of Duhok, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. Seven out of eight camps now have secondary schooling for Syrian adolescents, but the number of students accessing quality education remains limited, especially those in host community settings. UNESCO has constructed, rehabilitated and operates six of those schools.
The overall aim of the project ‘Improving access to secondary education for Syrian refugees in Iraq’ is to provide access to, and improve the quality of secondary education for young Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Also, the project aims to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Education in dealing with the impact of the Syrian Crisis and to support the provision of safe learning spaces, and teacher training. The project is an integral part of the wider UNESCO Education response to the impact of the Syria crisis and is reflected in the programmatic framework entitled “Bridging learning gaps for youth”.
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