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Syrian education a casualty of war

Syria’s education sector has suffered a heavy blow from the fighting, as security concerns, internally displaced students and the emigration of professors abroad has led to a sharp drop in the level of education in the country.
Children go to school on a damaged street in Duma neighbourhood in Damascus October 12, 2013. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY EDUCATION) - RTX148Z5
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Prior to the political/military crisis that began March 15, 2011, Syria was known for its advancements in the field of education — at the primary, secondary and university levels — with primary school enrollment rates reaching 97%. According to a UNICEF study released in December 2013, education in Syria has sharply declined over the past three years. Nearly 3 million children have been forced to quit their studies, as the war has destroyed their classrooms and many families were forced to flee the country.

The study noted that one out of every five schools in Syria has become unfit for use, as they have been damaged, destroyed or are being used as shelters for the internally displaced. Moreover, in countries hosting Syrian refugees, between 500,000-600,000 Syrian refugee children are not enrolled in school. The study pointed out that the areas most affected in terms of education are those where fierce battles are taking place — including Raqqa, Idlib, Aleppo, Deir el-Zour, Hama, Daraa and rural Damascus. In some of these areas, school attendance rates have dropped to 6%.

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