The Lost Years: Iraqi Students in Jordan

Five years ago, a U.S.-led coalition of troops invaded Iraq. Jordan and Syria have borne the weight of the exodus of more than 2 million Iraqis from their homeland. Only 3,000 Iraqis fleeing from the war have been resettled in the United States. Education Week looks at the impact of a new policy in Jordan to open its public schools to Iraqi children regardless of their legal status in the country. Many of those refugees missed as many as four years of school. And many are still out of school despite the new policy.

• For more information about education in Jordan, read Mary Ann Zehr's 2005 article "Deliberate Course."

The Lost Years
Watch interviews of educators and officials in Jordan on educating Iraqi children who fled their native country.
Iraqi Students in Jordan
Photos by Christopher Powers, March 05, 2008 Take a look at student life in Jordan.
Zainab's Struggle
Photos by Christopher Powers, March 05, 2008 One Iraqi student's experience in Jordan. Gallery includes audio.

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In Perspective
The Lost Years
War, displacement, and lack of money have prevented Iraqi children from going to school for lengthy stretches of time. They have more opportunities now, but little help in catching up.
March 5, 2008 – Education Week

No one seems to have reliable information about how widespread violent incidents are, making it difficult to know the overall status of schooling in Iraq.
March 5, 2008 – Education Week

Many Iraqi students who were forced to leave their homeland, especially those who have missed a lot of school, seem to have lost interest in education.
February 14, 2008 – Education Week (Web)

The quality of education in Iraq's schools has continued to decline following the war in Iraq.
February 11, 2008 – Education Week (Web)

The violence and displacement has disrupted the education of thousands of those children, many of whom are just getting back to the classroom.
February 6, 2008 – Education Week (Web)

Many Iraqi parents haven’t enrolled their children in Jordanian schools because they soon expect to be resettled in another country.
February 5, 2008 – Education Week (Web)

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