UNESCO helps Syrian students pass their year-end exams

Together with the United Nations and their educational partners, UNESCO is providing support to 1 800 vulnerable students to allow them to take national examinations as they travel from crosslines and borders.

The picture shows a female teachers standing by a white board teaching a group of adolescent girls.
12 November 2021

Passing end of the year examinations is a stressful and challenging moment for all students around the world. When it comes to countries affected by crises, educational disruptions add another layer of difficulty. Not passing an exam can mean a lot. It can irreversibly change a student’s life and drive him or her away from education, irreversibly, which means that students deserve stronger support to prepare for exams in times of crisis.

Last summer, UNESCO provided an urgent support to close to 1,800 vulnerable students coming from hard-to-reach areas, travelling from crosslines and borders to undertake their final examinations in the Hanano area, in Aleppo.

UNESCO’s contribution to this urgent support to the most vulnerable Syrian students, provided jointly by the United Nations and other educational partners, builds on UNESCO’s expertise in providing remedial lessons for students coming from conflict zones, so that they can pass their national exams. These lessons allowed reducing the gaps in passing rates between students from hard-to-reach areas, and those who did not need to benefit from special support programmes For Grade 12, for example, 54% of the programme beneficiaries passed the 1st round of exams, compared to a national passing rate of 59.73%, according to the Directorate of Education of Aleppo.

The picture shows an adolescent boy writing on a white board, his teacher standing up and other adolescent boys sitting behind him

Reflecting on the programme, the director of a student hosting centre said: “The presence of the free hosting centers and the useful tutorials provided by UNESCO, as well as the in-kind assistance, psychological and social support provided by the other international organizations, encouraged many families in hard-to-reach areas to send their daughters to complete their national exams, due to the availability of safety and lack of financial burdens. Many of the girls expressed their dream of continuing their studies at the University of Aleppo, and were asking psychological counsellors about the various university specializations, university housing and job opportunities during studies to secure housing and living expenses.” She added: “I remember one of the girls […] who dreamed of joining college and studying English literature. The girl never missed English lessons and interacted greatly with the teacher. When the results were out, I was not surprised to see that she had obtained a full mark in English language. This will enable her in the future to continue her university studies in the specialty she has always dreamed of learning”.

Over the past school year, UNESCO has provided remedial classes to 75,000 students across Syria, targeting the most vulnerable areas and the countryside in particular, to ensure that learning never stops.