Relief International: Providing educational opportunities for Syrian refugees in Za’atari and Azraq camps

Project completed

SDC’s contribution will help to maintain essential education services provided by Relief International (RI) for Syrian refugee children and youth in Za’atari and Azraq camps especially after the drastic funding cuts announced by UNICEF in June 2018. The project contributes to retain school-aged refugee children in the formal education system by providing support through: 1) Remedial Education services for in-school children with learning difficulties and 2) the certified drop-out programme for out-of-school children who can only go back to school if they complete the programme.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Primary education
Secondary education
Education facilities and training
01.01.2019 - 31.08.2020
CHF  1’350’000

Prospects of Syrian refugees living in Jordan to safely return any time soon to their homes are low, as the situation in Syria remains volatile. At the same time, donor funding for Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries is declining despite persistent humanitarian needs. The difficult education situation for Syrian refugees in Jordan is additionally exacerbated by the sudden shift in funding priorities of donors towards systems strengthening, in line with the national plans, including the Education Strategic Plan 2018-2022 and the willingness of the Ministry of Education to take over education programmes provided by Non-Governmental Organizations in Jordan. However, the Ministry of Education is not yet fully equipped, both financially and technically, to provide critical services such as the certified drop-out programme and remedial support for the refugee children.  A well planned transition process will need to take place over an estimated period of 12 – 24 months, during which continued support of NGOs and donors is essential.

In camps, out of 125,854 Syrian refugee children, approximately 37% (46,565) are school aged children. According to UNHCR, 21,400 children are enrolled in 31 schools in Za’atari camp and 9,835 children are enrolled in 6 schools in Azraq camp which leaves approximately 31% (15,000) out of school. Although there has been a slight increase in the number of Syrian refugee children attending formal schools in the past few years, many others remain out of school or at risk of dropping out for various reason including but not limited to overcrowded classrooms, lack of trained and qualified teachers, lack of social cohesion, violence in schools, poor performance on tests and many others. Poor quality of teaching in schools in camps put a lot of pressure on students, who struggle to pass the national exams (Tawjihi) after completing their secondary education. Without donors support, approximately 1,210 children per year will lose the opportunity for remedial education training helping them to complete formal primary education, an estimated 400 Tawjihi students per year will greatly struggle to succeed at the national exam, and approximately 600 children and youth out of school for more than three years will lose their opportunity to re-enter the formal education system – including the 653 students who already partially completed the certified drop-out programme, will not be able to continue successfully.

Objectives Conflict-affected and vulnerable Syrian refugee children and youth in Za’atari and Azraq camps access and complete quality education
Target groups
  • 1,210 Syrian refugees (50% girls)
  • 400 Tawjihi students in in both camps
  • 600 Syrian refugees (50% girls)
  • 139 government teachers and facilitators in both camps
  • Caregivers (mostly women) of 180 children
  • The project will indirectly support 12,645 (household and family members of the direct beneficiaries) considering the household size is 5 individuals
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1:

In-school Syrian refugee children and youth in Za’atari and Azraq Camps have better prospects to succeed in and complete compulsory education

Outcome 2:

Out-of-school Syrian refugee children and youth in Za’atari Camp have improved prospects to re- integrate the formal education system or enter vocational training programs

Outcome 3: Female caregivers at Za’atari and Azraq camps have improved prospects to pursue education and income-generating opportunities


Expected results:  

1.1: 1,210 Syrian refugees will benefit from quality remedial education in Azraq and Za’atari camps

1.2: 400 Tawjihi will benefit from targeted support classes in Za’atari and Azraq camps

2.1: 600 Syrian refugee children and youth  who have been out of school for more than three years are enrolled in the drop-out programme

2.2: At least 500 Syrian refugee children and youth enrolled in the drop-out programme receive a Grade 10 equivalency certification endorsed by the MoE that allows them to continue in the academic stream in formal school or vocational training

3.1: Caregivers of 180 children aged 0 – 5 years benefit from the Early Childhood Development (ECD) program

3.2: 50 female caregivers benefit from education opportunities

3.3: 25 female caregivers benefit from income-generating opportunities

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Other international or foreign NGO North

Coordination with other projects and actors

The project is directly coordinated with the Ministry of Education. Additionally, the project educational programmes are certified, endorsed and supervised by the Ministry.

Inside camps, the partner coordinates all project activities, share information and refer cases to other agencies through being an active member of the coordination clusters on Education, Youth and Child Protection, as well as the Camp Management and Coordination, Relief International sits on the steering committee of the Education Sector for the Jordan Response Plan along with Questscope. The partner is also the co-lead of the Education Sector Working Group in Za’atari camp and was the former co-lead in Azraq camp.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’350’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’282’500 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF   1’000’000
Project phases

Phase 1 01.01.2019 - 31.08.2020   (Completed)