The liberation of Raqqa and efforts to stabilise the city's security situation has allowed for the oldest school to receive students again.
Children in Raqqa have been lagging behind in their education for a number of years due to the former ISIS occupation of the city and the precarious security situation that has persisted since the expulsion of the terrorist group. Nevertheless, parts of Raqqa are now breathing with life thanks to the return of stability and efforts to rehabilitate damaged areas. This has allowed for the oldest school in Raqqa to welcome children back and resume their education.
The school was out of service during the ISIS occupation of Raqqa, which lasted over 3 years, between the start of 2014 until October 2017, when the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) managed to liberate the city after an almost year-long battle.
Students are the school are now being taught Arabic, English and Mathematics. The school has thus far received approximately 1,500 students who are distributed among 38 separate classes. There are currently 45 teachers and administrative employees working at the school.
Since the city of Raqqa has been under the control of the SDF, several initiatives have been launched to improve living conditions and rehabilitate the city.
The primary objective of administrative councils set up in Raqqa has been to clear the city of mines left behind by ISIS and to rehabilitate the infrastructure of the city so as to allow for the return of displaced people back to their homes.
Another priority is to improve the economic conditions in the city and the surrounding area. Displaced people wishing to return home are generally willing to come back if they have an opportunity to earn a livelihood. The Raqqa Civilian Council has been working to improve the state of agriculture in the area by repairing the Adnaniya Irrigation Station, which supplies some 100,000 acres of farmland in the northern Raqqa countryside with water.
A number of social initiatives are also being undertaken, with a strong emphasis on the empowerment of women. An academy was recently opened with the aim of educating girls and women in various educational fields, as well as raising awareness about a number of social, political and military issues that impact women, particularly in conflict zones.