Gaining an education in Syria

22 January 2020

As the world celebrates International Day of Education on 24 January, we showcase the work that a Syrian partner with funding from the European Commission (EC), is doing to ensure that young people can continue their education despite the conflict.

Imagine that your local school is now serving as a refuge for displaced people. School teachers have left due to fear of bombing, and textbooks are impossibly expensive.

This is the reality for children and young people in Northern Syria today. In early 2020, the escalation of conflict particularly in Idlib, has seriously affected children and young people’s education.  It is estimated that over 33,000 school children have not been able to go to school.

Before the war, almost all of Syria’s children were enrolled in primary school, but today the country's school enrolment rates are among the lowest in the world.

We recognize that school can provide a flicker of normality for young people engulfed in this crisis. Access to education and training can help transform lives, reduce vulnerability to joining armed groups, and support peaceful, cohesive communities.

On this day, we share stories from students, who are able to continue their studies at an education centre supported by our Syrian partner. The centre caters for students aged 14-26, some of them with disabilities.

The centre helps to restore their confidence, make new friends, and gain an education under extreme circumstances.

‘I lost most of my friends due to displacement. Not feeling my disability gives me more confidence in myself’.


‘I think that we have to strive for it [education], for the development and advancement of the country’.


‘All of these difficulties of poverty, displacement and war motivate me to learn and encourage people into education’.


‘The Darna Centre is like a bridge that students cross to reach their hopes and aspirations’.