As violence continues to spread in Syria, education has also become a conflict for the hundreds and thousands of children wanting to live a normal life. While this crisis in Syria enters its third year, Syrian boys and girls are not able to attend an institution due to its deterioration and damage. Syria itself is in a worsening state, and the plummeting education rate is down to 6%. Reported by the United Nations Children’s Fund, some children have not earned the education they deserve for more than two years. The escalating amount of violence and conflict occurring in Syria has threatened the education that these children need.
From UNICEF, Youssof AbdelJelil is the Syria representative. He says, “The education system in Syria is reeling from the impact of violence. Syria once prided itself on the quality of its schools. Now it’s seeing the gains it made over the years rapidly reversed.”
While deterioration and damage in the schools is an issue, the UN report also addresses that armed groups and displaced persons have also occupied them for shelter. One out of every five schools in Syria are among the damaged or destroyed, and have been used as some kind of shelter for the internally displaced. Schools are not able to operate under these conditions, especially when they can’t even provide a full staff or teaching and learning supplies for the students. A number of students will not bother with attendance if a teacher is not even present.
When there is no education provided, the unemployment rate rises. Nearly 40 percent of Syrian youth ages 15 to 24 years dropped out of school before the ninth grade, which was stated in a 2010 paper sponsored by Stanford University. This startling percentage reveals the conflict that can easily affect the lives of the Syrian youth.
The UNICEF response has been productive with the education crisis in Syria, where they have announced to include aid for the Syrian education system. This kind of aid includes donations of school supplies and pre-fabricated classroom to increase the attendance rate. Although UNICEF has urged for $20 million dollars to handle this crisis, only $3 million have been received within the first six months of 2013.
– Jada Chin