Less than a week after fighting reportedly came to a halt in East Mosul between ISIS and national Iraqi forces, people have begun to get back to their normal routine which includes children attending school.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a statement on Tuesday saying that over 16,000 children were able to attend school as of this past Sunday.
"I found out what it's like to be in school” Ahmed 11, from #Syria: Back in class after 3 yrs! https://t.co/mZQTLNIES9 @KfW v/@unicefiraq pic.twitter.com/X6isbxBKh1
— Kent Page (@KentPage) January 13, 2017
An experience that comes after the “nightmare of the past two years,” Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq said. Adding that, “this is a pivotal moment for the children of Mosul to reclaim their education and their hope for a better future.”
#Iraq: 16,000 children return to school in East #Mosul with our support as violence subsides. https://t.co/p9cd5FNzYS pic.twitter.com/t2qvl1nme7
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) January 24, 2017
For many in Mosul, the future in terms of education seemed bleak as they watched the hands of ISIS “permanently annul” history, literature and Christianity related classes when they started to gain power back in 2014.
During that same year news report explained that at the time many schools within Mosul were experiencing lower levels of student attendance because of fear and uncertainty among families when it came to the terrorist’s next steps.
The movements made by the extremists included the banning of education for girls as well as a variety of human rights violations like sexual assault.
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Hawkins stated in an interview with Faithwire, “I can only imagine what it is like especially for the girls.”
“Most of the girls haven’t been to school in two to three years. The excitement and the fact that there is someone there that will pay attention to them must be an incredible feeling. And being with other children and getting into some sort of routine and structure after everything they have been through” is an excellent step.
The best to counter #ISIS is by educating the youth.
Schools reopened today in #Mosul thanks to @UNICEFiraq pic.twitter.com/enI7Iv4tND
— Iraqi Day ?? (@iraqi_day) January 22, 2017
However, the humanitarian official explained that, that the western part of the city is still in desperate need of help, as the people there are still engrossed in turmoil and daily battles between fighters and terrorists.
It has now become a place where “There is no freedom of movement, it is totally surrounded and it is almost totally cut off,” Hawkins said.
“There are upwards of 300,000 children in the western part of the city who are stuck” which means no opportunity to pursue an education.
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