Skip to main content

On 6th anniversary of Syrian war, education remains a casualty

In an interview with Al-Monitor, the minister of education of Syria’s opposition interim government, Imad Barq, spoke about the state of schools and education in the country and specifically in opposition-held areas.
Children attend a classroom in Aleppo, Syria January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho - RTX2YVTG

ISTANBUL — The Syrian conflict has entered its seventh year, leaving more than 6 million people, including 2.8 million children, displaced inside the war-torn country. According to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, this is the largest number of internally displaced people in the world. Today, out of Syria’s 22 million pre-war population, close to 5 million Syrians are scattered all across the Middle East and in Europe as refugees and asylum seekers. Human Rights Watch reports that children under the age of 18 represent about half of the Syrian refugee population, with approximately 40% of them under the age of 12. As the United States and its allies continue to contemplate budgets and strategies in their fight against the Islamic State (IS), and Russia’s military assistance remains a pivotal support for the Bashar al-Assad regime, Syria grows into a charnel house whose fate remains a global calamity.

On Feb. 18, Syrian opposition stakeholders, regional nonprofit organizations and Gulf donors met for the first International Conference for Syrian Education (ICSE). The two-day conference held in Istanbul discussed potential solutions to the multilayered challenges of the broken education system for children inside Syria, as well as the hundreds of thousands who are deprived of educational opportunities in neighboring countries.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.