Syria: Education and practical abilities
According to UN estimates, as many as half of all children do not attend school. And it is children who do not attend school who find it harder to come to terms with traumatic experiences, are at far greater risk of being recruited by armed groups, becoming radicalised, being married off at an early age in the case of girls and of child labour.
In the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, PIN supports the operation of 16 schools, supplying them with electricity and providing basic maintenance, and in the winter contributes towards heating costs. Teachers and further staff receive financial donations, because neither the State nor anyone else pays them a wage. In addition to this, PIN trains teachers how to work with traumatised children and in improved teaching methods and also organises leisure time activities and basic psychological support for children.
PIN also furnished the supported schools with first aid kits, training teachers in provision of first aid and helping them to create evacuation plans in case of an attack on the school.
According to UN, almost half of the children is out of the school. Children who don´t attend school has difficulties to cope with traumatic experience and they are much more vulnerable to recruitment by armed group, radicalization, child labour. Especially girls can be abused to early marriages. One of the main problem in education field is lack of the schools and teachers. The central system of education was broken up, so different versions of school accreditations and complicated system of examination mean the obstacles for students as well. Based on our research it follows that in Idlib province is only 22% school buildings in acceptable condition and 78% teachers are volunteers without adequate education.
In Aleppo and Idlib PIN supports education in provisional schools in old school buildings or mosques. Students received basic stationary and school supplies, the schools are repaired and equipped with generator and fuel to provide light during teaching hours. In winter time we were helping to ensure fuel for heating in the schools. Teachers and other school staff receive financial support, because no one gives them their salaries. They get at least small incentives, enabling them to provide their families with basic necessities. We also help to ensure free time activities at schools; we built playgrounds and provided training for teachers to improve their teaching skills and their approaches to the traumatized children. We provided the schools with first aid kit and school staff received the training in first aid. We helped the schools to create an escape plan in the case of attack, etc.
In total we have supported 76 schools and over 20 000 children.