Education in Hama Suburbs

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Enab Baladi Issue # 93 – Sun, Dec. 1, 2013

Muhammad Safi – Hama

DSC_0622 copyAmid unceasing clashes and air strikes for a second year, children have been deprived from their basic rights including learning due to the total absence of a healthy environment for that.

In Kaferzita in Hama’s northern suburbs, all schools have been affected by the continual shelling after a year and half; 11 schools are totally destroyed and abandoned since last year. Three other schools were recently destroyed and require renovation to begin to function. Eight middle and high schools require renovation in order to be ready for receiving students again.

Hassan Al Aa’raj, member of Kaferzita’s Coordination, said in statement to Enab Baladi that “The Coordination was offered the needed support for renovating one of the destroyed schools; however, the continual daily shelling of the city prevents who is left of Kaferzita’s people from sending their kids to schools. The area is daily subjected to two aerial attacksby regime jetfighters, at early morning and at noon, which makes student attendance more of an impossible thing”.

The educational process in Al Latamina, another town in Hama Suburbs, is slightly better than that in Kaferzita. Despite the fact that two schools are totally destroyed, the rest of the schools in town continue to receive increasing number of students due the growing movement of displacement to the town. Whereas in regime-controlled Taibat Al Imam, schools are open and fully functioning; however, large percentage of students refrained from attending in fear of being detained as many other students were in retaliation for FSA operations against regime checkpoints surrounding the city.

In northern suburbs, regime forces seized and occupied the main school in Hyaleen town. In Karkanaz, air strikes targeted two schools, while many students in remaining schools were detained in retaliation for FSA operations against regime checkpoints surrounding the city.

In Eastern Suburbs, 90% of the schools in in “liberated” areas are destroyed or subjected to daily shelling; in addition, most schools are closed as teachers from the city of Hama and Salamiya are absent due to the difficulty of reaching the schools in the suburbs. Meanwhile, some schools are functioning under the management of local activists and teachers.

Abo Abdo, member of Hama’s Eastern Suburbs Coordination, said to Enab Baladi: “In pro-regime and regime controlled areas, schools regularly receive students and are fully functioning, but displaced students from “liberated” areas cannot attend these schools in fear of their lives”. Abo Abdo added, “In “liberated” areas, open schools suffer from shortage of books, and of repeated absence and interruptions due to increased shelling as rebels advance in the area”.

The poor conditions of schools and the educational process in Hama’s suburbs are very similar to that in all schools around Syria: facing many problems which cannot be solved but through halting the killing machine that holds no respect for the sanctity of learning or education.

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