Maat: Girls are the most likely to be deprived of education in conflict zones

“Al Shaeri”: Using schools as military bases threatens the lives of many children in Yemen

“Bahjat”: About 2.45 million people were denied access to basic education during the Syrian civil war  

“Eliana”: “SOLIDinEDU” aims at promoting equality, social cohesion and active citizenship

In conjunction with the International Day to Protect Education from Attack, commemorated annually on September 9, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights held a virtual event entitled “Educational Facilities in Conflict Areas: Under Fragile Conditions and Mass Destruction”, while focusing on Yemen, Syria and Somalia.

The event highlighted the impact of the conflict on the situation of education and its deteriorating facilities were highlighted during the event, in addition to the violations faced by students and teachers, including murder, abduction and threats to their lives. Moreover, the event also discussed the consequences of the conflict, particularly the high rates of non-enrollment, which affect the right to education as a critical development right and goal. This is in addition to addressing the efforts and initiatives aimed at promoting the right to education, mainly the “Solidarity for Education (SOLIDinEDU)” Initiative.

Warda Al Shaeri, a political science researcher and specialist in Yemeni affairs, stated that the rate of child soldiers in Yemen has markedly increased during the period from March 2015 to February 2021 to more than 3600 children, owing to the internal conflicts, the ongoing wars, the alarming spread of poverty and hunger as well as the poor economic situation and the displacement of a large number of Yemenis, which resulted in low literacy. Al Shaeri affirmed that girls are the most vulnerable to education deprivation, as the proportion of girls under the age of 18 who engage in an early marriage is estimated at 72.5% in Yemen.

For his part, Bahjat Hussein, a researcher at the Educational Research Center and a specialist in Syrian affairs, added that the path of millions of Syrian children is fraught with danger, revealing that about 2.45 million children in Syria are out of school; that is 40% of children. Given the frequent attacks on schools in Syria and the demolition of many of these schools during conflicts and wars, about 12,000 children were killed. Hussein concluded his speech by recommending all fighting parties to put their weapons aside and return to the negotiating table, asserting that peace and diplomacy are the only way out of this abyss.

In light of highlighting the initiatives on education, Elena Vasiliou, director of the “SOLIDinEDU”, said that the project was launched in August 2021 and consists of five states, namely: Egypt, Greece, Netherlands, Sweden, and Bulgaria. The project, she added, aims at promoting equality, social coherence and active citizenship through education as well as providing feasible recommendations to local authorities and educational institutions through analyzing the conditions in these states, helping them to change by adopting the best educational practices and communicating with experts in this regard, particularly young people.

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