Mass displacement causes overcrowding in an IDP camp’s school northeast Syria

DERIK, Syria (North Press) – Martyr Jamal School in Newroz IDP Camp in the countryside of Derik, far northeast Syria, suffers from increasing numbers of students in light of lack of school supplies and classrooms.

The  schoolmaster, Sawsan Abdullah, said, “During the past two months, the number of students increased from 700 to 953.”

Each prefabricated classroom, which is designated to receive 25 students, includes more than 40 pupils with four in each desk.  

The schoolmaster noted that they need about six additional classrooms in order for students to be able to gain proper education.

Overcrowding has negative impacts on the quality of lessons and the education of students. 

The Newroz Camp was established in 2014 in order to receive families that had fled Sinjar District due to attacks by the Islamic State Organization (ISIS) and they left the camp after eliminating ISIS to their areas. 

In October 2019, families resorted to the camp fleeing the Turkish aggression with the support of the Turkish-backed armed factions on Sere Kaniye and Tel Abyad. 

Due to the successive Turkish attacks recently on the towns of Tel Tamr and Zargan (Abu Rasin), north of Hasakah, dozens of families got displaced to the camp amidst lack of humanitarian aid by organizations operating in the region. 

The camp’s school, which is limited to primary education, has ten classrooms that, according to the school’s administration, are not enough in light of the ongoing increase of pupil.   

The overcrowded classrooms forced the administration to divide the school’s day into two shifts but this cannot contribute to solve the problem.   

25 teachers are operating in the school, which adopts curriculum of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).

Moreover, the school lacks desks in addition to the need to fix the old outworn doors and windows. 

However, the major problem of the war and displacement’s impacts is that some children do not attend school although they are over ten years old, according to the school’s management.

In order to face this issue, the management starts from the very beginning by teaching the student letters and numbers. 

Reporting by Dalal Ali