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Geopolitics

In Syria, That Other Casualty Of War: Education

Many Syrian children are forced to leave school and work as child laborers for employers who ofter mistreat them. New statistics shows a 30% drop in school attendance since the war began.

A school worker shows a classroom damaged by a mortar shell in Damascus
A school worker shows a classroom damaged by a mortar shell in Damascus
Alia Ahmad and Karen Leigh

DAMASCUS — Mohammad, a 13-year-old from the Husseiniya neighborhood in Damascus, left school after the seventh grade. He says that after his father was killed by fighting in the family's neighborhood, he had to leave school and work in a sawmill. "My mom is sick, and I am the eldest of five brothers," he says. "We fled from our house, and now we live in a partially constructed house. The aid that comes from the Red Crescent is barely enough."

Truancy rates among Syrian students have increased dramatically since the beginning of the Syrian war. The country's minister of education told the pro-government al-Thawra newspaper that the number of students enrolled in Syrian schools in 2011 was more than 5.5 million, but for 2013-14, there were only 4 million enrolled, which amounts to a truancy rate of about 30%.

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Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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