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Education in Internal Displacement Camps (Northeastern Syria)

2021-11-24
In the last years of the war in Syria, the education sector across the entire Syrian geography has experienced significant deterioration and decline, following the military battles that took place in the cities and the continuous change of areas of control between the various military parties in Syria, which imposed their alternative educational curricula to the educational curricula of the Ministry of the Syrian regime. In addition to violent battles and heavy shelling of schools and educational centers in conflict areas and the transformation of schools in areas of stability into shelters for the displaced from their areas.

According to UNICEF estimates, the number of Syrian children who are not enrolled in school in Syria and neighboring countries is about 2.8 million. These children lost their schools and educational centers, lost access to education as a result of the war and the destruction of educational infrastructure and were displaced from their areas to displacement areas, much of which were displacement camps within Syria, that lack the minimum fundamentals and capabilities that can provide education and learning.

At the same time, after the beginning of Turkish attacks aimed at ethnic cleansing and demographic change in Syria's Kurdish cities, tens of thousands of children and their families were displaced and moved to displacement camps that lack the minimum basics of a decent life in the areas under the control of the Self-Administration.

The Turkish attack and the pro-Ankara factions on the cities of Serekaniye/Ras al-Ain and Gire Spi/Tel Abyad led to the displacement of nearly 300,000 civilians, towards the areas controlled by the SDF. The IDPs were distributed in temporary shelters in schools and government buildings to be later distributed to camps prepared specifically for them, with the aim of emptying the temporary shelters. Hence, the "Washokani" camp was established in November 2019 near the town of Twaina in Al-Hasakah countryside and then "Serekaniye" camp was established in August 2020, in preparation for the new academic year, according to statements made by the Self-Administration.

The displacement process and the inability for civilians to return to their villages and cities due to the serious violations committed by the Syrian opposition militants against them, led to the disruption of the educational process. Around 23,000 students, registered with the Education Authority of the Self-Administration in Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad before the occupation, dropped out of school. Despite the Self-Administration’s attempts to return students to schools, a small number were able to enroll in schools primitively opened, due to the lack of support of available resources and the failure of relevant humanitarian organizations to adopt projects related to the educational sector in both camps.
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