Over the last eight months, Turkey has rebuilt over 400 damaged schools in Syria’s Aleppo region, enabling 152,000 children to continue their education.
After the Operation Euphrates Shield operation, Turkey’s National Education Ministry launched a study for a total of 458 schools in Aleppo’s Jarabulus, Al-Bab, Cobanbey and Azez regions.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, the ministry’s Lifelong Education Director Ali Riza Altunel said: “I believe the number of students will increase to around 170,000 by the end of the first semester.”
Altunel said the ministry had been running its program since March after Operation of Euphrates Shield was successfully wrapped up by the Turkish military.
“There were enough numbers of primary and middle schools, but a very small amount of high schools,” Altunel said. “In March, we only managed to continue with lessons in only three schools. By the end of June, the number increased to 103 schools.”
The director said children in the rebuilt regions were “extremely happy with Turkey’s contributions,” with Syrian children painting banners saying they continue their education “no matter what”.
“This is the reaction we are glad to receive in exchange for our hard work,” Altunel said.
The director said children in the region were unable to receive a proper education in the last five years.
“So, we launched a ‘compensation program’ for children to make up for the lack of the education,” he said. “We are working hard to graduate children from elementary schools for them to continue with middle school.”
Syria has remained locked in a vicious civil war since 2011. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed by the conflict and millions more displaced, according to UN figures.