On the occasion of Literacy day this year (September 8), UNESCO is pleased to launch the Syrian Youth Literacy Assessment Survey (SYLAS) report, a study conducted in Lebanon in 2019 by UNESCO and UNHCR and funded by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).
Literacy is important in today’s world. It is a lifelong process of learning for all, particularly in the context of 21st century skills with their emphasis on sustainable development skills and global competencies, which cannot be attained without achieving a fully literate society.
In the context of the Syrian refugee crisis, information on literacy and numeracy skills acquires criticality to understand the situation that refugee youth face to participate in societal development. Hence, this literacy assessment was undertaken to better inform policy makers and programme implementers about refugee youth’s literacy abilities, so that timely action can be taken to address core and urgent issues.
The study was conducted on randomly selected 400 Syrian households chosen from four regions covering all Lebanon. It included three background questionnaires and literacy, numeracy and life skill competency assessments administered to the youth (15-24 years) in the households.
The main findings of the study showed that Syrian Refugee youth suffer from low literacy and numeracy proficiency levels, while they show a positive attitude towards life, reflected from their good performance on Life skills items. Overall numeracy skill levels are alarmingly poor among most youth irrespective of gender, and the literacy level is low for most respondents.
Among the recommendations of the study is the need to use ICTs in educational activities, to include innovative ways of teaching to help students perform better, to make educational contents available on mobile phones, and to include citizenship education in the teaching process.