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Restoring the education system amidst the Yemen conflict



After almost a decade of the ongoing war in Yemen, there has been some hope for negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. However, in this entire tenure of conflict, there have been several aspects of Yemen that were severely impacted. Firstly, the conflict caused approximately 400,000 deaths and one-third of Yemen’s population requires food and clothing assistance and experiences extremely poor sanitation. Along with all these factors, the education system has been primarily affected. According to UNICEF, “Over two million children are out of school, over four million need support to access education, and over 20 per cent of all primary and secondary schools are closed.”

Due to frequent bombings and strikes, most educational institutions have either been destroyed or damaged. The military forces have also exploited the schools as private detention facilities and training areas. The ratio of students to teachers expanded rapidly as a result of the lack of wages for teachers throughout the conflict, and many teachers opted out of the profession because of the necessity for secure jobs and the high rates of unemployment.


During this crisis, there are also extremely high percentages of children who fail to enrol in school; girls aren't permitted to go to school due to safety concerns, and many of them are also being forced to marry at a younger age due to financial burdens and the requirement for somebody to provide support for the households.


Young boys are either recruited as child soldiers to serve in the conflict or sent to work to support their families. Mansour, a 16-year-old boy, enjoyed going to school and aspired to be a neurologist one day, but after his father was killed in the conflict four years ago, he was forced to drop out and work in a factory to support his family. During his work, he even injured his spinal cord, leaving him paralysed for the rest of his life. It’s heartbreaking to see that at a young age, children are put in situations where they must choose between their innocent dreams and the responsibility of being the breadwinner of the household.


Ahmed, a 17-year-old from the city of Taiz, stated, “My previous school was on the frontline. I had to change schools and now have to walk an hour and a half to reach my new classroom every day. One time, my classmate was shot dead on our way to school. I was with him, and it was horrific. I was covered in his blood and didn’t know what to do.”

These young children's tales are completely horrific, and the events they had to witness so early in their lives have permanently traumatised them for the rest of their lives.

What is your opinion about the devastating consequences of the conflict?





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Wars inflict damage across generations. It's not just the physical infrastructure, as many discuss in their comments, but also the shattering of dreams and aspirations for children like Mansour and Ahmed. No child should endure this—it's not just about robbing them of education but also stealing their innocence and childhood. Sadly, this pattern repeats itself in the ongoing Palestinian genocide, where kids like Mansour are pushed away from their schooling. Consider how children like Ahmed are growing up, surrounded by constant fear. Should a child have to worry about survival on a daily basis? They need more than just education; they require psychological support to navigate adulthood after witnessing such trauma. Similar to Yemen, Palestinian children are experiencing a distressing cycle, yet…

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I would like to resonate with your perspective on the long-term effects of War on the affected countries. Even though the war would last for a period of time, the effects are rather deeply embedded for a lifetime which eventually becomes the roots of many problems sprouted in the future. Your comparison of Yemen to Palestine clearly shows that the vicious cycle of damage inflicted on people, especially innocent children is repeating itself. It is extremely heartbreaking to witness how the powerful countries have just turned away from these atrocities and not have a single drop of sympathy for the people suffering. Personally, it is difficult to see pictures and hear stories of all these children just painfully suffering in…

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Like Burhan mentioned, I too believe that it's not just about rebuilding infrastructure, it is about providing psychological support for traumatized children. Ahmed would need proper psychological therapy to come to terms with the fact that he was covered in his friend's blood while he witnessed his death right in front of his eyes. The international community is so persistent about mental health that it goes on to celebrate World Mental Health Day and yet is completely unbothered by the mental health of students in Yemen. It is of absolute importance that the mental health of these children be addressed first. They cannot be put into the same classrooms even if the education system is restored without ensuring they ar…

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Thank you for highlighting the level of hypocrisy that we see in the Western world where they tend to show the importance of mental health in their countries only but when it comes to such countries like Yemen where the children are permanently traumatised, there is no mention or help provided by the first world countries. If these children do not get the proper treatment or therapy to deal with their PTSD, there is a chance that as they grow up they develop other mental disorders like anxiety, low self-esteem, and shocks due to which they might never be able to live a normal life. When it comes to humanitarian aid, mental health should be included in the important list…

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In my opinion, the severe consequences of the conflict in Yemen demand urgent attention, empathy, and collective action. It's not just about rebuilding infrastructure; it's about rebuilding shattered dreams, providing psychological support for traumatized children, and creating a pathway for them to reclaim their innocence. The international community must ask itself: How can we stand by while the hopes and futures of an entire generation are sacrificed in the name of conflict? I believe the global community has the strongest part to play here by ensuring that humanitarian aid is flowing, and the dreams of these innocent souls are preserved.

Moreover, the point you made about Mansour who had to choose between his dreams and being the breadwinner of th…

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I am completely with you on the fact that it isn't just about rebuilding infrastructure but also about prioritising the emotional well-being of the affected students. Your anecdote regarding your helper completely relates to the impacted children in Yemen like Mansour and this connection highlights the unfortunate reality that we as children in other countries take for granted. I believe we could never imagine being in a position like that and the fact that we have the privilege to go to our desired educational institutions to fulfil our dreams without any responsibility or worry about other problems should help us realise that everyone does not have the same opportunity and us being in a position like this, should try to…

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The devastating consequences of the Yemen conflict are heart-wrenching, particularly for children like Mansour and Ahmed. The war has not only claimed lives but shattered dreams and robbed youngsters of their innocence. The destruction of schools, displacement of students, and the forced choices they face highlight the urgent need for a diplomatic resolution and international efforts to bring about peace. The global community must prioritize humanitarian aid, protect civilians, and ensure the right to education for the young generation in Yemen, preventing further suffering and fostering a path to a more secure and prosperous future. However, the question arises, what has the global community done until now?

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Your point of International efforts to bring peace to the Yemen conflict is completely valid. In such a conflict, external forces such as International NGOs are the appropriate help to take such a country from the dumps and rebuild for a better economy. When Yemen initially broke into conflict in 2011, the United Nations supported negotiations between the Yemen government and the opposition, leading to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). furthermore, countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, the US and the UK all promised to give funds to Yemen to help support its population. Unicef also played a role in giving the women and children of the Yemeni population access to humanitarian aid regarding healthcare and sanitation supplies. All of…

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The impact on children in third-world countries such as Palestine, Yemen, and Pakistan is evident, with world leaders seemingly indifferent to the damage inflicted on young lives amidst ongoing conflicts. This raises a crucial question: How can the international community contribute more effectively to bring about positive change in the education and overall well-being of the children caught in the midst of this crisis?

What do you think of this?

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I completely agree with your point that conflict in third-world countries isn't prioritised by the world leaders of powerful countries like the US. However, in class, we discussed in depth about international aid and the role it plays in such conflicts. I believe that many aid workers coming to conflict zones have a white saviour complex where they go to such places, spend a few days and feel good about themselves as people or use that as something to go in their resume as charity work. We even saw in the documentary about international aid, that it is very complex to understand the true reasoning behind those funds collected for cause. The way these countries show triggering pictures and videos…

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