A school in Aleppo has been set up to provide quality education and psychosocial support to children in Syria.
READ Foundation and our partner have set up a project to help children aged six to 12 receive a primary school education.
It’s estimated more than 180,000 education personnel in Syria have left the education sector since the crisis started. The schools that are still running are often operated on a voluntary basis, meaning lessons can be infrequent or not of a normal standard.
This is why READ Foundation is helping to fund teacher salaries, school supplies and operating costs, running a school in an existing school building. Donations to the Emergency Education in Syria project will ensure children get a quality education in a safe and well-organised fashion.
READ’s Deputy CEO Rehan Salim said: “The children in Syria have been through so much – what they need is a return to school education that’ll give them a sense of normalcy.
“But the project stretches far beyond teaching English, maths and the usual subjects – this school is offering psychosocial support to the children too. They’ve witnessed so much in their lives – things that have the potential to mentally damage them. Mental health and psychosocial support for these children are a fundamental part of our work in Syria.”
The school is currently providing lessons to 329 pupils – 177 boys and 136 girls. But indirectly it will benefit parents and guardians of the children in Syria too – allowing them to focus on other pressing matters, all the while knowing their little ones are being cared for in a safe environment.
We’re strong believers that emergency education in Syria must be a priority. And there are facts to back up our convictions.
Our partners in Syria have told us that boys are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and recruitment to armed groups, while a large number of girls do not complete school because they become child brides or are needed for household work. Children in Syria also face other major challenges when it comes to school enrolment, such as lack of facilities, access to water and sanitation and a shortage of teachers and educational materials.
Mr Salim said: “When we looked into this project our partner organisation conducted a needs assessment for several areas in the north of Syria. This found there are still schools running that receive no financial support – the staff work without pay on a voluntary basis and without proper equipment.
“The project we’re running ensures that children in Syria don’t just get an education – they get a quality education, they get psychosocial support and they get some of their childhood back.”