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In classrooms in Sin al-Fil High School Sunday, children sat in groups of two in orderly rows of desks, wearing bright T-shirts and pigtails, some chitchatting, others huddled with a pencil over a test.There are nearly 400,000 school-aged (ages 5-17) Syrian refugees in Lebanon, according to UNHCR estimates. Public schools currently accommodate around 105,000 non-Lebanese students in Grades 1-9, of which nearly 100,000 are Syrian, says Sonia Khoury, who directs the project management unit implementing the ministry's Reaching All Children With Education project. Nine-year-old Yazan from Idlib said he had never attended school in his life.Around 6,000 placement tests were graded in previous rounds, and the ministry has funding from UNICEF to put 10,000 refugees through the Accelerated Learning Program, a new four-month program to prepare out-of-school children to enter formal education when the new school year begins in October.ALP prepares children for a single grade; for example, a child who took ALP at Level 1 would be ready to begin Grade 1 in public school, Khoury said.
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