Iran, Syria to Establish Work Group on Syria’s Educational Needs

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian science minister and Syrian education minister had a meeting in Paris where the Iranian official called for the establishment of a work group to identify the educational needs of Syria so that Iran can contribute to resolving them.

Iran, Syria to Establish Work Group on Syria’s Educational Needs

The Iranian Science, Research and Technology Minister Reza Farajidana held a meeting with the Syrian Education Minister Houzan al-Waz on the sidelines of a UNESCO conference on Sunday, and expressed deep regret over the damage to and destruction of a large number of higher education centers and science and technology infrastructures in the Arab country.

Farajidana expressed hope that the centers affected by the violence in Syria could be reconstructed soon, adding that Iran will continue its support to rebuild or reconstruct educational facilities in Syria.

Al-Waz also appreciated the Iranian nation and government for their contributions to and support for Syria in the course of the crisis that has engulfed the country for some 32 months.

The Syrian minister said his country is willing to  make use of Iran's experience and gains in the field of higher education and research, and hailed Iran's leaders for paying special attention to science and research despite sanctions and problems facing the country.

A September report by the United Nations Children’s Fund said almost two million Syrian children have dropped out of school.  

Around half of the children have fled the conflict in Syria and now are refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey, said UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado.

“Most children cannot go to school for a whole host of reasons-intensifying violence inside Syria; language challenges; access; security; poverty; and tensions within communities.  Thirty months into the conflict, children are becoming increasingly afraid, angry and frustrated.  The risk of a lost generation becomes more acute with each day that they are out of school," said Mercado.

And a July report by Save The Children aid agency said 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 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." 

A recent report by the UN says some9.3 million people in Syria - or about 40% of a population of 23 million- are now in need of outside assistance.

This figure has risen by 2.5m from the 6.8m total the UN gave in September. The UN estimates that more than 2m people have fled Syria since the unrest began in March 2011 resulting in a humanitarian crisis. Most have sought refuge in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

More than 120,000 people are estimated to have been killed since the conflict began in 2011.

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