After the earthquake, Mobile buses to teach children in northern Syria

After the earthquake, Mobile buses to teach children in northern Syria

News By May 26, 2023 No Comments

Mobile buses, Providing children whose schools were destroyed by the earthquake more than three months ago with educational classes and psychological support, colorful buses turned into mobile classrooms make their way between camps for displaced people in northwestern Syria.

  1. Earthquake devastates education infrastructure in Northern Syria:
    A powerful earthquake struck northern Syria, leaving a trail of destruction, particularly impacting the region’s educational infrastructure. Schools were damaged or destroyed, leaving thousands of children without access to education. The situation demanded urgent measures to ensure the continuation of learning for these affected children.
  2. Mobile buses transformed into classrooms:
    In response to the educational crisis caused by the earthquake, local authorities and humanitarian organizations in northern Syria have converted mobile buses into classrooms. These mobile buses, equipped with necessary learning materials and supplies, are now serving as temporary educational spaces for children whose schools were destroyed or rendered unsafe.
  3. Bringing education to children’s doorsteps:
    The mobile buses are part of an innovative initiative to bring education directly to the children’s doorsteps. By deploying these buses to various communities, children can continue their education without the need to travel long distances or face safety risks associated with damaged school buildings. The buses are equipped with desks, chairs, whiteboards, books, and other essential learning resources.
  4. Teachers dedicated to ensuring continuity of education:
    The mobile bus initiative is staffed by a dedicated team of teachers who are determined to ensure the continuity of education for the affected children. These teachers are experienced and trained to adapt to the unique challenges posed by the mobile classroom setup. They employ creative teaching methods to engage students and provide them with a supportive learning environment.

The bus stops near a camp for displaced people on the outskirts of the town of Jindires in Aleppo province and close to the Turkish border, one of the areas most affected by the earthquake that struck Syria and neighboring Turkey on February 6 and killed nearly six thousand people in Syria alone.

Children gather with joy and enthusiasm around the colorful Mobile buses decorated with pictures and slogans including the “train of letters”, and then ascend successively to classes ranging from Arabic, English, science and mathematics.

During a class, while sitting on wooden benches inside the bus, students chant a song behind the teacher in which they learn words in English.

We no longer have refuge because the structure fell.

Jawaher Hilal, a 10-year-old fifth-grade student, said: “We were living in Jindires and the earthquake happened. The building collapsed and we no longer have shelter,” he said, according to AFP.

Sitting in a tent that has become her family’s home, she added: “We moved here and the school is very far from us. But the buses came and we started to learn. We receive a lot of lessons.”

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Education and psychological support through Mobile buses

Raad al-Abed, an education officer at Orange, a local NGO behind the initiative, said, “The mobile units provide educational services as well as psychological support to children affected by the earthquake.”

“The Mobile buses target 27 camps and move between them successively” in Jindires and its surroundings, where more than three thousand students benefit from their services, he said.

Ramadan Hilal, Jawaher’s father, finds a temporary solution to the disruption of education after finding himself and his family living in a camp among olive trees.

He claimed that there were no schools or other facilities left after the earthquake.

“Even if they want to establish schools, they remain far from us and we cannot provide transportation to transport our children to them,” he said.

452 schools damaged

It is noteworthy that the earthquake caused significant damage to buildings, service facilities and infrastructure, especially in the border areas with Turkey, the epicenter of the earthquake. Hundreds of schools that survived the disaster were turned into shelters for families whose homes were completely destroyed or damaged.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than a million school-age children in northwest Syria alone require educational assistance and are at risk of dropping out due to earthquakes.

At least 452 primary and secondary schools are estimated to have been affected to varying degrees, while at least 25,earthquake-affected teachers need mental health and psychosocial support, adequate compensation and capacity building.

After the earthquake, Mobile buses to teach children in northern Syria

Across Syria, 3.7 million children are in need of sustained humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which reported that 1.9 million children were disrupted by the quake, while many schools are still being used to shelter people displaced by the quake.

Overall, the deployment of mobile buses as temporary classrooms is a commendable response to the educational crisis caused by the devastating earthquake. This initiative not only ensures the continuation of education but also brings a sense of normalcy and hope to the affected communities. It highlights the resilience and determination of local authorities and humanitarian organizations to prioritize the well-being and education of children, even in the face of adversity.


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