Migration

Displaced people in western Aleppo set up a school for children

Syria

The Tal al-Daman Educational Complex, which at one point was once a large building with classrooms, has transformed into scattered tents in Western Aleppo. Teachers and parents paid out of their own pocket so that they may buy tents for the children to be taught in.

At the end of 2017, the original Tal al-Daman School in southern Aleppo, which was considered an exemplary local school, was destroyed by an airstrike.

With the students and their parents, as well as the school’s teachers and support staff, now displaced in western Aleppo, they have come together to rebuild the school using temporary tents as classrooms.

“During the displacement, we set up the tents for the school and began to work inside the tent and the tent became the school which shelters us,” said one of the school’s teachers. “We have some problems inside the tent, as it is not suitable for winter or even summer.”

The school still provides education to its original 4,000 students, who attend the same classes with the same friends and are taught the same curriculum by the same teachers. This continuation of their education in a familiar environment minimises the level of disruption for the children, in addition to providing them with a sense of normality after being forced to leave their family homes as a result of war.

“This is the reality of education in the Tal al-Daman’s Educational Complex after the displacement,” said another of the school’s teachers. “All [of] our schools were once exemplary and distinctive, now they have become scattered tents. These tents have only been formed into classrooms due to the efforts of teachers and parents who bought them with their own money.”

The tents for the school were paid for using personal donations from the displaced parents and teachers, many of whom contributed money to the school before buying their own home.

Following the outbreak of the Syrian Conflict in 2011, displaced children have had their education severely disrupted. According to the United Nations, 43% of displaced Syrian refugee children are no longer receiving any education.

Despite the rudimentary reconstruction of the Tal al-Daman School, it provides a vital service for the displaced students of the school. The continuation of their education will enable them to contribute to the future rehabilitation of their country.