YEMEN: 30.000 CHILDREN BACK TO LEARNING DESPITE EDUCATION CRISIS
Aden (June 23, 2021)- While attacks on education facilities, displacement and COVID-19 still prevent Yemeni children from going to school, a partnership between the European Union (EU) and Save the Children has helped 30 000 children regain access to quality education in southern Yemen.
2.500 education facilities in Yemen have been affected by the war and, after more than six years, schools are still being attacked and children are still falling victim to violence. In the past three years, nearly one in four civilian casualties was a child. From January to March this year, five separate attacks on schools hindered the access to education for more than 30.000 children.
European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “Education in Yemen is under attack. This is unacceptable. Two million children are out of school when they should be learning and getting support to build their dreams and a better future. Providing education, protection and psycho-social support to children caught up in emergency situations remains at the forefront of the EU’s priorities.”
Since June 2019, children aged 6 to 16 years that were affected by the conflict were given access to safe and protective education in Aden and Lahj. The vulnerable children, from 20 schools and two displacement camps, received education and much-needed psychosocial support.
In Al Ribat displacement camp, Save the Children has set up temporary learning spaces and enrolled 400 children allowing them to continue their education after fleeing their homes. Students in the camp received learning materials and teachers were trained and given teaching kits to ensure the quality of the lessons delivered.
Ahmed*, Save the Children’s volunteer teacher in Al Ribat camp said:
“Before Save the Children arrived we were trying to do some classes but we had no space. The classes were held in tents but it was very hot and very crowded. It was very badly organised and we could not teach under these conditions.
"Children here were in an emergency situation as they have been displaced. Now that they have this temporary learning space, they start to feel more safe and comfortable again. Education is important for these children. It is the duty of the parents as well as the whole community to support. I feel very proud and happy when I am able to support my students and I see their learning skills improve."
Two million school-aged children are currently not going to school.
Bushra*, 15, was one of them:
“After the war started, I got displaced twice. It was three years ago when I was at school in Hodeida that an airstrike hit my school’s neighborhood. The bomb exploded next to our school. Everyone was very scared and the school got damaged. We could not go back to school for a week and after that, and even then, there were more and more attacks on schools, so all schools in the area stopped operating. Warplanes were flying above our heads all the time and the area was full of armed people. I started feeling very afraid.”
Now Bushra lives in Oteera displacement camp with her mother. She studies in the EU-funded temporary learning space that Save the Children has set up there.
Save the Children and the EU call on all parties to the conflict to cease attacks against schools and fully implement a ceasefire in order to end violations of children's rights and work towards sustainable peace and a political solution.