With the start of the new school year in Syria for 2019-2020, more than 2 million Syrian children (2.1 million) of school age are still out of school and do not receive basic and intermediate education.
The Syrian regime and its Russian and Iranian backers have turned many school buildings into rubble, while others have been turned into shelters for the displaced who have lost their homes. In parallel, many teachers have been killed or missing in detention centres mainly on the hands of the Syrian regime, some by armed militias such as the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), HTS, and other factions that rely on recruiting children rather than educating them the ethical, behaviour and take care of their mental health aspects.
For example, Save the Children, warned on Wednesday (4/9/2019) that thousands of children are at risk of not attending the new school year in northwest Syria as a result of the ongoing military escalation in the region for months.
“Thousands of children who are supposed to start the new school year in north western Syria may be unable to attend school,” the organisation said in a statement. “Of the 1193 schools in the region, only 635 remain in service, while 353 have been affected or evacuated and 205 schools are being used as shelters for the displaced.”
The charity noted that the remaining schools were able to accommodate 300,000 of the 650,000 children of appropriate school age.
In Lebanon, according to last year’s Human Rights Watch statistics, less than half of refugee children were enrolled in schools. Of the 631,000 Syrian children of primary school age, 210 were enrolled in public schools and 63 in private schools, while others remained out of school, according to Human Rights Watch. Report by the Lebanese Ministry of Education referred that to insufficient funding from international donors.
The situation in Jordan, despite the Government’s efforts to absorb as many as possible, but the inability of the absorptive situation, the early leakage of children to the labour market because of living difficulties and legal obstacles, all this has hindered many children to go to school. Human Rights Watch said in a report for the past school year that one in four children did not attend basic education. As of the figures, about 80,000 of the 226,000 Syrian refugee children were unable to attend school.
In the same way, although the situation in Turkey is better, the state provides education for almost all Syrian children, but the drop-out of children to the labour market continues to make life difficult and learning in Turkish sometimes prevents students from completing basic education.
Psychological and emotional instability play a major role in dropping out of education, especially in areas of escalation, especially for children who have lost family members or witnessed the tragedies of shelling and murder before their eyes. Psychological and emotional trauma has had a disastrous impact on the generation of Syrian children because of the scourge of killing, bombing and destruction.
The Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) calls on all parties to respect childhood, the right of children to safe life and their right to education. It also calls for the neutralisation of children from the scourge of conflict and the early recruitment and exploitation of children for the purposes of war, and to stop the use of refugee children and displaced people as political cards by some well-known parties.