Afrin, Aleppo, Syria− In Syria, many sectors are extremely affected by the ongoing thirty-month-old crisis. Education is considered one of the most influenced and harmed sectors in the country.
Students across Syria are suffering the most under the current circumstances resulted by the ongoing conflict that broke out in 2011 and grew to include the Kurdish region north Syria as the anti-regime Kurdish activists were involved in the Syrian uprising since the beginning.
Syria’s Kurdish area did not see devastating crackdown by the regime forces, comparing to other regions in Syria. However, clashes between Islamist groups and Kurdish fighters caused instability in these areas. The Kurdish region in Syria sees a considerably worsening economic situation due to a siege imposed by several parties; the regime forces, Islamist ISIS forces, the Turkish authorities, and the Kurdish armed groups linked-to the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Every party tries to justify its siege against the Kurdish areas.
Due to the escalating violence in the Kurdish city of Afrin and its suburbs, north-west of Syria, most of the primary and secondary schools in the area turned into shelters for the displaced families who were forced to leave their houses amid violent clashes between the Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG)−PYD’s armed wing− and the Islamist groups.
These conditions deepened the suffering of Students in Afrin. Being taken by civilians as shelter, schools of Afrin can no longer provide students with education, but a scene of war victims.
Lack of teaching staff, books and other school supplies are other main reasons to take into account while thinking of the current educational crisis in Afrin and the future of thousands of students. Ignorance and illiteracy became serious threats to an entire generation in Afrin and its suburbs.
Sadiq is a teacher of French laguage in the city of Afrin. He told ARA News that beside the schools that were taken by displaced families as shelter, “several other schools are either partially of completely destroyed due to the violence that spread across Afrin area”.
“The situation is absolutely tragic,” Sadiq says, justifying his speech by saying “the destiny of the next generation is linked to war, ignorance and bad conditions.”
Sherin is another teacher in an elementary school in Afrin. She talked to ARA News about the current educational crisis in Afrin, saying that the crisis is “deeper than a phase of suspended education”.
“There were essential shortcomings in the educational system prior to the current crisis; an acute shortage in teaching aids, the lack of specialized classes, and the language (Arabic, while students’s mother tongue is Kurdish) is the largest psychological barrier between students and teachers,” Sherin argued.
With the start of the new school year in Syria, the United Nations Fund for Children warned that “nearly 2 million Syrian children are deprived of education, either because of schools damaged by military operations or due to displacement”.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 Syrians have been killed since the start of the 30-month-old war in Syria, with an estimation of 5000 casualties every month.
Report by: Jiwan Afrini
Source: ARA News
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