Syria war imperils education of 2.5 million children: aid agency

Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:03pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - More than a fifth of Syria's schools have been destroyed or made unusable in more than two years of conflict, jeopardizing the education of 2.5 million young people, Save The Children aid agency reported on Friday,

The civil war in Syria has contributed to a sharp increase over the past year in the number of violent incidents affecting children's education reported worldwide, the agency said.

More than 70 percent of 3,600 such incidents in 2012 occurred in Syria, where school buildings were shelled, teachers attacked and children recruited into armed groups, it added.

Save The Children said it had stepped up its monitoring due to Syria's worsening crisis and concerns over girls' access to education in parts of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The report includes new UNESCO research showing that 48.5 million children living in conflict areas across the world are out of school, more than half of them of primary school age.

Save The Children said an estimated 3,900 schools in Syria had been destroyed or put out of action by January 2013.

"But more recent estimates in April show a very rapid increase in this number, with 22 percent of the country's 22,000 schools rendered unusable," it said.

"The combined effects of conflict have jeopardized the education of 2.5 million school-age children and young people."

"APPALLING CRIMES"   Continued...

 
Children play along a street in the besieged area of Homs June 20, 2013. REUTERS/Yazan Homsy (SYRIA