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Empty stomachs and abandoned classrooms: The case of Yemen


The Yemeni crisis has over the years grown to become the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. The seven-year-long conflict between the Saudi- led military and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels has led to widespread attacks on civilians, cholera outbreaks, and one of the worst food shortage crises this planet has seen.


The conflict has also severely interrupted education in the region, with up to 2 million children out of school. This growing number owes to the 1600 schools that are either destroyed or are being used to house displaced families or to hold military activities. Such is the case in most conflict-ridden areas where the school buildings are the first to shelter military planning and operations. Underlining how education is often the first to play a hefty price in every conflict.


The war has also scarred the childhood of many across the country with the number of children recruited in the fighting doubling. In the years these children should only shoulder the weight of their backpacks, they’re being made to carry the weight of rifles and the protection of their homeland.


Armed conflicts around the world have struck the upcoming generation the hardest. Children around the world are growing up to the sound of air strikes, warplanes, and bombings. Those that still have standing school buildings to attend leave their houses every day with the risk of not making it back. What the world is doing now is setting the tone for the future to be led by people who have seen nothing but conflict and destruction, who were denied their basic right to education by powers deciding to engage in war. Inevitably, Earth is looking at its future through a pile of dust and rubble.

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What do you think should be done in order to provide quality education to these children from an internal standpoint (i.e. one that is not dependant on temporary sources of external aid)? There would obviously have to be different approaches towards the rehabilitation of those completely displaced from schooling and recruited and those who have had an ongoing albeit decrepit education. So how would the government of Yemen go about this and have measures already been put into place to support remedial action?

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Respondendo a

Furthermore, while these new schools are under construction, The government has launched TLCs (Temporary Learning Classrooms) all across Yemen and especially in hard hit areas where there are the most number of displaced children. This allows an uninterrupted flow of education for almost all children and ensures that they will have an easier transition back to proper schools once the project is completed.

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Quite a significant and an important topic. These wars, maybe because of the sectarian violence or for the resources, are probably doing more harm than good. Especially when considering the children and the students in these conflicted areas - they are growing up seeing bombs and bullets fly and with no peace education, I’m afraid they’re probably thinking that maybe this is the real and the only world. Moreover, these students when grown up would maybe think the same and carry on the same ideology and hatred. And that’s why I believe that educating them and especially educating them with peace education in these time of crisis is quite crucial.

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Respondendo a

Excellently elaborated Laiba! To add on, I believe that the media should stop painting War heroes as someone extraordinary and start introducing some content related to how a war was stopped or how education impacted positively on the conflict. Through this, the audience may start to promote peace education and would stop promoting violene and war as the only solution.

Curtir

Thank you, Laiba, for discussing the case of Yemen and how it's affecting the children and more particularly for raising a point about whether those who are born into war, whose childhood is impacted by conflict, and attempting to deal with its effects will lead the world? I was wondering, to what extent the effects of war, violence, etc. would be internalized in children of Yemen, and what if children who have witnessed the conflicts come into power, will they really put the violence into practice, recruiter young and children into fighting or will they realize that violence shouldn't be put into practice because it affects millions of lives and thousands of children's childhoods? Please elaborate on it if you have any idea.

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Respondendo a

Hello Almeera, so there actually has been evidence of children in conflict-affected regions becoming more violent. Researchers and psychologists have long studied the affects of violence on the minds of these people and have noticed symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression. Since these children constantly believed that their safety is jeopardized, they became more hypervigilant and eventually began to show symptoms of aggression. Studies done in Gaza showed 38% of children developed aggressive behavior and agreed to the statement 'I have become more violent'. While 67% of these children do not show clinical symptoms, they tend to grow up untreated and the risk of retaliation in the future hangs in the air as the world failed them .

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