People in Need record 7 schools in Aleppo and Idlib damaged or destroyed in the last 2 weeks alonePublished: Jun 16, 2016 Reading time: 3 minutes
GAZIANTEP, 16 June, 2016 – In recent weeks, People in Need (PIN) has witnessed an increase in the number of attacks impacting civilian infrastructure and services in our areas of operation. In the last 2 weeks alone, we report that at least 7 schools have been impacted in Aleppo and Idlib governorates. Some of these schools have been destroyed beyond repair; the classrooms transformed into masses of rubble and twisted metal.
On the 4th June, airstrikes conducted on Saraqab town in Idlib resulted in the injury of 13 civilians, the destruction of a school and severe damages to a hospital, which was then rendered out of service. The following day in Idlib city, another school was impacted by airstrike causing huge structural damage. Again, on the 6th June, an airstrike on Alzorbah town in Aleppo resulted in the collapse of a local school. The exterior walls were dismantled and classroom ceilings were lowered to the ground.
4 days later, on the 10th June, a PIN-supported school in Big Orem suffered damages in an airstrike on the village. The airstrike destroyed many houses, injuring a mother, father and their child. The school was less than 100m from the site of the impact, and as a result all of the school windows were smashed and the school’s doors, latrines, walls and fence are now in critical need of repair. PIN has been forced to temporarily suspend activities in Big Orem due to the escalating security situation there.
Just 2 days later, on the 12th June in Kfar Dael town in western Aleppo countryside, a primary school was completely destroyed in a night attack. That very same day a high school in Qubtan Aljabal town, also in western Aleppo countryside, suffered serious external and internal structural damages to the building.
Yesterday, Bassam Shawi school in Idlib city was also impacted in an airstrike, which caused critical damages to the building and the destruction of many homes at the site of the impact.
“As a result of incidents such as these, and even worse cases where children have been injured or killed” comments Ali, PIN’s education project officer in Syria, “we notice that many students stop attending their classes in other schools in the same neighborhoods out of fear, knowing what has happened to their classmates in the other schools. In recent weeks, we notice that parents are becoming more worried and have even stopped sending their children to school on account of the frequency with which schools have been impacted.”
PIN supports 20 schools across Aleppo and Idlib governorates. In these schools PIN supports 286 teachers and 8150 students by providing teacher incentives and trainings, learning and teaching materials, school operational costs and rehabilitation services, emergency planning, first aid training and kits and access to psychosocial support activities.
Whilst focusing on enabling access to quality education, given the insecurity in these areas, PIN recognizes the importance of providing students with access to psychosocial support and ensuring that the school itself is as safe and child-friendly a space as possible. “At this present time”, Ali adds, “a large number of children will be out of school, there will be more displaced students and families coming into the areas where we work in Aleppo and Idlib and as such there will be an even greater need to support these children and rehabilitate the schools that have suffered damage.”