Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Yemeni schools in deplorable state as they start new academic year

Thursday 07/September/2023 - 01:02 PM
The Reference
Aya Ezz

Yemen schools opened their doors to receive pupils for a new academic year as of September 1, for the first time in three years because of Covid-19.

However, the conditions of the schools are far from satisfying due to the lack of resources, deteriorating infrastructure, and weak security.

The high cost of study remains one of the most prominent challenges facing pupils and their parents.

This is especially true in the light of the deteriorating economic situation, and the depreciation of the local currency.

The prices of school supplies have increased by up to 300%, compared to last year.

Registration fees, transportation and school uniforms have increased dramatically in prices, making it difficult for families with limited income to afford these expenses.

According to a report by the United Nations Children's fund (UNICEF), 2.3 million Yemeni children have already dropped out of school because of the failure of their parents to cover the costs of schooling.

The report added that 75% of teachers have not been paid for more than three years, which affects the quality of education and motivation.

The pupils, the report adds, also suffer from the low quality of education, as a result of poor infrastructure, insecurity and the spread of diseases.

Yemen's brutal war of eight years has led to the destruction or closure of more than 2,000 schools.

This forced pupils to crowd in cramped classrooms or study in tents or temporary shelters.

Some areas are also witnessing armed clashes, air attacks or landmines, which threatens the lives of pupils and teachers, and creates a state of fear and anxiety.

According to the World Health Organization, Yemen has the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

It adds that 80% of the country's population is in need of humanitarian assistance and faces the threat of famine, cholera and measles.

Meanwhile, international organizations warn that an entire generation of Yemeni children is at risk of being lost, if they are not provided with quality, safe and comprehensive education.

Director of the Human Rights Office in Yemeni capital, Sana'a, Fahmi al-Zubairi, said education has become inaccessible in Yemen.

"The conditions of the education sector are far from normal," he told The Reference.

He attributed this to the violations committed by Houthi militias against Yemeni children and their schools.

These violations, he said, have turned the schools into military barracks, training camps and summer centres for the spread of the extremist ideology.