School dropout could cost Syria US $10.7 billion if children do not return to school

The new UNICEF MENA study, Economic Loss from School Dropout due to the Syria Crisis: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Impact of the Syria Crisis on the Education Sector, estimates that the total economic loss due to dropout from basic and secondary education, as of 2012, is US$10.7 billion. This is equivalent to about 17.6 per cent of the 2010 Syrian GDP.

Using labour market data and data from the Ministry of Education, results show that the impact of dropout is significantly large. In 2012 alone, 2 million children dropped out of school inside Syria. As of the 2014/2015 school year, there were 2.1 million children out of school inside Syria. Children who dropped out have not only lost the immediate opportunity to learn, but their productivity and potential lifetime income are also negatively affected. 

The study captures the current picture of the economic loss and gauges the magnitude of rebuilding the education sector. The findings emphasize the importance of providing access to education for children during emergencies and transitional periods of war and conflict. There is a serious gap between the benefits that education could bring to the Syrian economy and society and the actual funding that the education sector and cluster receive from the international community.

The study suggests that the benefit of bringing children back to school in the long run might be seriously underestimated among donors and stakeholders. It is hoped that the findings will contribute to raising funds and that the methodology of the analysis is applied to other emergencies.

Click here for the study 


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