Education Cluster: Give Syrian Children Safe Education

from UN Children's Fund, Save the Children, Education Cluster
Published on 02 Sep 2019

Gaziantep, 2 September 2019

Parties to the conflict in Syria must take additional measures to ensure attacks on education stop immediately to allow children to return to education, feel safe in and around the schools and study without fear and interruptions.

Psychological impact of violent conflict on children has well-documented negative consequences on their ability to learn, socialize, and achieve their full potential. Children who have suffered severe distress are likely to have learning difficulties and often are unable to regularly attend their classes.

With support from its members, Southern Turkey Education Cluster has tracked 58 schools or education centers that have been impacted by attacks on education since the latest escalation of violence that started on April 30.

Some of these education facilities were hit directly, and others had to suspend their education activities due to increased insecurity. The humanitarian causalities could have been at disastrous levels if the schools were in formal sessions.

The escalation of violence in Northwest Syria has turned the area into an active warzone, with at least 3 million civilians including 1.5 million children caught in the cross fire.

Indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombing of civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and market places, claimed lives of hundreds of civilians including children. 250,000 school-aged children were affected by ongoing hostilities in Idleb, mainly due to suspension of education activities.

Humanitarian actors have tracked more than 500,000 incidents of displacements among civilians in North West Syria between Since April 30, including 150,000 school-aged children, and many of the families were displaced multiple times.

In arrival locations, the existing absorption capacity of education facilities are overstretched for both displaced people and host communities. When schools reopen in September, most of the displaced children will have limited or no access to education as many education facilities have been damaged or destroyed, and others used for collective shelters as displacements continue. Overcrowded classrooms will force thousands of children out of school, exposing them to other risks including child labor, child marriage and recruitment by armed groups.

Members of the education cluster demand that indiscriminate attacks affecting education stop immediately to ensure the safety of children and education personnel in and on the way to schools.