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Lebanon has put larger, richer countries to shame by taking in 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees, including nearly 500,000 school-age children.Rana, 31, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon, has been trying for years to enroll her children, but hasn't been able to afford the transportation fee of 45,000 Lebanese Lira per month for each child. Lebanon last year opened 200,000 spaces for Syrian refugees in public schools, but only 158,000 children enrolled, and 10,000 fewer actually attended.Lebanon's residency policy for Syrian refugees has perhaps been the most damaging.Lebanon adopted new rules in January 2015 that have effectively barred many Syrian refugees from maintaining legal residency. Under Lebanon's residency regulations, all Syrians 15 or older must pay $200 per year to maintain their legal status. It is not in Lebanon's interests to maintain a residency policy that is forcing children into an uneducated, impoverished, and illegal status.As families look to the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, Lebanon and international donors should ensure that children are not denied an education.
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