“With Education, We Live”: Campaign for the Rehabilitation of Idlib’s Schools

Members of the Syrian Civil Defense while rehabilitating one of Idlib city’s schools – September 2018 (Civil Defense Facebook Page)

Members of the Syrian Civil Defense while rehabilitating one of Idlib city’s schools – September 2018 (Civil Defense Facebook Page)


 In cooperation with Idlib’s Education Directorate, the Syrian Civil Defense has launched a campaign for the rehabilitation of schools at Idlib governorate for the school year of 2018-2019.  

The campaign, under the slogan of “With Education, We Live,” started early in September and is yet going on as to rehabilitate all the schools that the campaign targets.

Mustafa al-Haj Yousef, the directorate of the Civil Defense in Idlib governorate, told Enab Baladi that the number of the schools that the campaign has covered, until September 6, is 111 schools in 57 cities and towns within the governorate.

He added that the campaign’s activities included cleaning the schools that are yet in service, the removal of rubble and dust from the schoolyards, rehabilitating them and filling the water tanks, through 171 hours.

Al-Haj Yousef pointed out that the campaign did not cover the schools that are out of service in Idlib, because they were partially or totally damaged during to the years of war, and it will be limited to the schools where education continues to be offered.

The school year for 2018-2019 started on Sunday, September 2, in the areas under the control of the Syrian regime, while it started on Saturday, September 1, in the opposition-held areas, though many of the schools in Northern Syria are rendered out of service.

The Syrian education sector has suffered massive loses during seven years of conflict which led to the dropout of more than two million children of schools, according the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in a report issued on Monday, April 23, 2017.

The organization has attributed the children dropping out of school in Syria to the damage that afflicted 309 education facilities due to armed conflict, for one out of three schools has been rendered out of service since 2011, either for being a target to shelling or for turning into a makeshift shelter for refugees.

The Ministry of Education under the government of the Syrian regime has estimated the damages of the education sector since 2011 and to 2016 with about 235 billion Syrian pounds, with five thousand partially or totally damaged schools, the most of which are in Idlib, 772 schools, followed by Aleppo, 301 schools, while 1889 schools are used as makeshift centers for accommodating refugees, according to the Ministry.

The areas out of the Syrian regime’s control face many difficulties in relation to the educational sector, the most important of which are being target for shelling and lack of financial resources.

These areas have witnessed a number of school rehabilitation projects under the supervision of local councils there, the last of which was conducted in April, when the “United Engineers Organization” launched an engineering project aiming at the rehabilitation of Idlib governorate’s schools.

The project, which ended in May, included the rehabilitation of 40 schools in several cities and towns in Idlib governorate:  the city of Idlib, Maarrat al-Nu’man, Turmanin, Ariha, Kafr Nabl, Saraqib and Maarrat Misrin, covering the schools partially destroyed due to the conflict, as the director of the Restoration Department of the “United Engineers Organization,” Mazen al-Baker has told Enab Baladi in a former interview.

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