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Friday, 24 January 2020 20:50

On Int’l Day of Education: Suspension of Aid for Education is Tantamount to Assad’s Attacks on Schools

Press release
Syrian National Coalition - Syria
Department of Media and Communications
January 24, 2020

On the International Day of Education, we call on the world to assume its responsibilities with regard to supporting education in Syria as we warn of the dangers the suspension of international support for this sector pose to the future of the region and beyond. Ensuring development, prosperity, and stability in any society is based first and foremost on the educational process.

The suspension of support for the education sector and the disruption of the educational process is a catastrophe whose effects are as destructive as the Assad regime’s targeting of schools with the goal of depriving the Syrian people of education thus ruining their future.

The Syrian National Coalition, therefore, calls for reconsidering these measures and immediately resuming support for education programs to cover all age groups. We also stress the importance of taking measures to ensure an immediate end to attacks by the regime and its allies on schools.

There are 1,193 schools in Idlib province providing education to 399,660 students. Nearly 250,000 children do not receive any education. According to the Syrian Interim Government’s Ministry of Education and organizations working in the education sector, at least 160,195 students have been affected by the ongoing bombing campaign being launched by the Russian air forces and the Assad regime as well as Iranian militias. No fewer than 268 schools were put out of service as a result of the regime’s breaches of the de-escalation zone agreement.

Throughout 2019, the Assad regime forces targeted 77 schools in Idlib province, bringing the number of schools completely destroyed or damaged to at least 126 schools. In addition, there are 20 schools that are occupied by IDP.

In addition to the constant danger of bombardment and the parents’ constant sense of fear and anxiety for the safety of their children, the education sector has suffered a huge blow after international organizations suspended support last year. The suspension of aid led to the disruption of the majority of the programs that were funded by SIG’s Ministry of Education. Many teachers are now working as volunteers.

Moreover, education services are still not available in some IDP camps. Schoolchildren have to travel several kilometers on foot to get to their schools at considerable risks to themselves.

Maintaining the continuity of the educational process is of vital importance for the present and future of Syria. It is the responsibility of everyone to provide education for Syrian children.
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