Sana’a, 25 September, 2014 – After days of clashes in the capital city, thousands of families have relocated within or outside Sana’a and schools have been temporarily shut. UNICEF calls on all parties to continue to respect the rights of all children throughout this difficult time.
Tens of thousands of children have had their education disrupted over the past few days as their schools are occupied by armed forces or armed groups. UNICEF urges those involved to vacate the buildings as soon as possible and allow children to return to their schools. UNICEF further calls on the appropriate authorities to clean and clear affected schools of any explosive debris that remains before they are safe to use. A school needs to be a safe and secure learning environment in which children can pursue their studies without fear of any political or security implications.
The Sana’a Education Office is working with school principals to enable access or alternative schooling opportunities for all those affected. The school year has only just begun, and with the Eid holiday period around the corner, there is even more need to continue education, wherever it is safe to do so. “If children miss too many days of school, they risk major gaps in their learning, which will put them at a severe disadvantage for passing their exams and moving to the next grade,” says Jeremy Hopkins, Deputy Representative for UNICEF.
Children should be encouraged to return to their normal life as soon as possible to offset the fear, uncertainty and stress that times of conflict bring. If families choose to relocate outside Sana’a, efforts should be made to find alternative, temporary schooling.
“UNICEF welcomes the intention by the Ministry of Education to open Sana’a schools again on 29th September, as children’s right to education must not be compromised at any time” Hopkins concluded.