According to the recent UNICEF report ‘Education Under Fire’, the conflicts in the Middle East have deprived more than 13 million children of the opportunity to attend school.
The report, which examines the impact of conflict on education in six countries in the region, states that more than 8,850 schools have been rendered inoperable. The UN warns that if the children are unable to return to school, “the hope of an entire generation” will be washed away.
The report contains detailed stories about students and teachers finding themselves in the middle of shootings, classrooms that are being used as shelters, and children having to cross active front lines in order to take their exams.
According to Peter Salama, UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, “the conflicts’ disruptive impact is felt by children across the region. It is not just about the physical damage to schools, but the despair of a whole generation of school children seeing their hopes and futures being crushed.”
In Syria, one out of every four schools has been closed since the conflict erupted, meaning that more than two million children have had to leave school.