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Syrian Refugees, Children Struggle in Jordan

Syrian refugees in Jordan, estimated at as many as 240,000 with more coming every day, are straining Jordan’s infrastructure and education system, Ben Gittleson reports from Irbid.
Valerie Amos (2nd L), the United Nations' Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, meets Syrian refugee children during her visit to the Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, November 27, 2012.     REUTERS/Ali Jarekji  (JORDAN - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT)

IRBID, Jordan — A mother and young girl from Syria shuffled into the principal’s office at the towering Qadasiya school on Wednesday, hoping to find a way for the child to attend class with other kids who speak, look and study like her. Let her stay, a Ministry of Education official said, and you can fill out the paperwork afterward.

The Jordanian government last week relieved pressure on already packed public schools by moving hundreds of Syrian children into special afternoon shifts at three schools in this northern Jordanian city, as the government buckles under the weight of Syrian refugees.

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