I Want My School

02 October 2013

The enormity of the disastrous situation in Syria isn’t simply limited to the ongoing war between the regime and the armed opposition. It is safe to say that the loss the country is enduring has reached everything from the infrastructure to the educational system.

With the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, a worrying number of Syrian children and students have been out of schools for two years in a row. This not only puts the future of thousands of children at risk, but also increases the possibility of them engaging in the armed conflict. Civil activists alarmed by the situation, consequently launched a campaign called “I want my school”, to restart the educational process, especially in schools located in areas controlled by the opposition.

Our website Syria Untold contacted activist Guevara Nabi from the Enough Is Enough assembly, who is also a founder of the “I want my school” campaign, to discuss its details and objectives. Guevara says “We believe that education is an integral part of this uprising, thus we began gathering statistics regarding the schools occupied by battalions and neighborhood assemblies. In addition to this we launched an electronic campaign about the issue, and we have been distributing leaflets and reports that emphasize the importance of restoring schools. And last but not least we’re now preparing for a sit-in that includes activists, student parents and teachers, in front of the province council and another in front of the Tawhid brigade, to help us empty schools of armed forces.”

Despite the activists’ enthusiasm they encountered many obstacles, including “the battalion’s neglect of the importance of education and schools at these difficult times, and the lack of a military force that we can turn to for support, in addition to the lack of financial backing to repair damaged schools and provide the necessary equipment for education (furniture, boards, books, etc.)."

Other issues facing the organizers include concerns and fears of the parents from the constant bombardment carried out by the regime, and the attempts by extremist groups to keep ignorance rampant among the people. The activists responded to these problems through "intensifying their awareness campaigns through leaflets, displaying videos in the streets and demonstrations demanding protection for schools and students."

Syrian activists are aware that education is one of the “fundamental rights of children”, which is why they are trying their best to provide these basic rights through such campaigns. In the hope that the international community could help by simply pressuring the regime to stop bombing schools, to ensure the safety of the children. So are they asking for too much, or has the world become deaf to the point of idiocy



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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad