Aid & Development

Syria: Hasakah schools turn into shelters for displaced people


Thousands of people have been displaced from areas between Ras al-Ayn and Tal Tamr in recent weeks. Many of these people have been settled in Hasakah Province.

Schools in parts of Hasakah have been emptied in order to accommodate the waves of displaced people arriving from regions in and surrounding the so-called “safe-zone” formed as a result of the Turkish backed military operation in northern Syria, dubbed “Operation Peace Spring”. Clothes can be seen hanging from the windows of schools, and inside, classrooms have been converted into bedrooms.

The consequence of this development is that the schools in Hasakah are unable to operate as educational institutions anymore and are now simply functioning as shelters for the displaced people.

“There are more than 375 schools now inhabited by displaced persons, but the number of students who are now out of classes is 60,000 to 65,000, and 4,000 teachers are also out of the educational process and their jobs”, noted Mohamed Saleh Abdo, the Joint Head of the Education Authority of the Jazeera region.

Although, the conversion of schools into shelters is having a negative impact on the education sector in the region, the local authorities have little choice but to make space for the influx of displaced people from other parts of northern Syria.

Several internally displaced people (IDP) are yet unable to find any form of shelter provided by the local authorities or international organisations. For instance, these brothers were forced to leave their homes as a result of shelling and, in search of shelter, they found a water tank that they have transformed into a small room to accommodate themselves and their children. They explained how the IDP camps and nearby villages were full to the brim with displaced people.

The Turkish-backed operation in northern Syria was launched in October and has led to the displacement of thousands of people near the Turkish-Syrian border. Similar events were witnessed during the Turkish-backed operation in Afrin, in north-western Syria, which took place in early 2018.