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Yemeni children learn outdoors in the absence of schools

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Near a school in southwestern Yemen that has not been completed due to the outbreak of war in the country, about 20 pupils sitting in the open under the trees are watching their teacher attentively, using their knees instead of tables to place their books and books.

These primary-school pupils in the al-Kashar area of ​​Taiz governorate are still deprived of chairs, desks and tables when they return to this year’s school season.

Nonetheless, teachers insist on holding lessons to students, outdoors and by the means available.

In this vein, Abdul Salam al-Mahmoudi raises a white sign to be instead of a board, in front of his pupils sitting among the trees and goats who are following the lesson of Islamic matter with interest.

A few meters away, English professor Mujib Ali Mohsen writes the letters of the alphabet with chalk on the wall of a building that has not been completed, and even lacks a roof. Girls sit in a small wall to avoid the sun.

The third teacher seems more fortunate, writing his lesson on a blackboard in front of about 30 children sitting on the floor.

The construction of the Kashar school was not completed due to lack of funding after the outbreak of the country’s war in 2015, the date Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened militarily to counter Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. They succeeded in controlling much of the country, including the capital Sana’a.

According to UN statistics, more than 2,500 schools are currently out of service in Yemen. Two-thirds were damaged as a result of the shelling, 27 percent were closed, and the army turned 7 percent into IDP shelters.

According to the same source, two million children out of the seven million school-going age did not attend school. In addition, 3.7 million people are at risk of dropping out of education in the country’s 13 governorates because of the inability to pay teachers’ wages.

The internationally recognized government of Yemen controls Taiz governorate.

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