Civilians and pro-government forces walk down the destroyed YarmOuk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus on May 24, 2018, after the regime seized the camp. (Photo: AFP)
Palestinian refugee schoolchildren and students continue to struggle with the devastating impact of the ten-year warfare in Syria, amidst a deadly pandemic outbreak.
UN data indicates that this academic year, nearly 50,000 Palestine refugee girls and boys have gone back to 103 schools run by the UNRWA in Syria, with measures being taken by teaching staff to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Human rights groups continue to warn of the hurdles faced by Palestinian schoolchildren and university students due coronavirus propagation and the lockdown measures imposed across the country. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the weak infrastructure of the education systems in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. Many teachers, students, and parents agreed that the quality of teaching and learning deteriorated during the distance education period imposed by the lockdown, despite efforts made by teaching staff.
However, despite the traumatic upshots wrought by the daily scenes of bloodshed and destruction across the embattled Syrian territories, hundreds of displaced Palestinian refugees in/from Syria have achieved success stories,
This includes scores of refugee students who have obtained the highest scores at their academic institutions; hundreds of refugee sportsmen/sportswomen who snatched the first places in regional and international competitions; dozens of artists who received renowned literary awards for their products and performances; and several housewives who turned trauma into a space of creativity.
In late 2020, some 27 Palestinian refugee students graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in Syria.
Available data by UNRWA indicates that 32 UNRWA facilities have been reduced to rubble in Yarmouk Camp alone, including 16 schools, in the Syrian conflict.
Several other UNRWA facilities were destroyed in the Syrian warfare and others have gone out of operation, including two clinics, a vocational training center, a youth development center, and 28 schools, out of 112 UNRWA schools in Syria.
Upon more than one occasion, the UN has raised alarm bells over the striking upsurge in the rate of school dropouts among the Palestinians of Syria, several among whom have left schools to help feeding their impoverished families in unemployment-stricken refugee camps.
Dozens of Palestinian students, schoolchildren, and teaching staff have been killed or forcibly disappeared in war-ravaged Syria.