Shocking Video Reality of Schools in Syria Must Watch
Ghina al-Imam is six and has adorable bunches in her hair, but she was sobbing quietly and her face was streaked with tears on her first day at school in Damascus. The teachers were considering whether to call her mother – her mobile phone number is pinned carefully to the child’s blue tunic – but by the mid-morning break they had managed to coax her out to the playground to join the other girls and boys.
Smiley faces and brightly coloured posters welcomed the new arrivals this week. Parents fretted. “Everything is normal, or as normal as possible in the circumstances,” said Mona Hamoud, the principal of the al-Samah bin Malek al-Khawlani primary school. But she presides over an exceptionally crowded establishment – 1,350 pupils in 24 classes, an average of 56 in each. And internally displaced people (IDPs) – or refugees – make up 65% of the total.
“I have children of nine, 10 or 11 who have not been to school since the war began, so we have a special flexible curriculum to help them catch up and reintegrate,” she explained.