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BAGHDAD, 24 January, 2017 — As fighting subsides in East Mosul, 30 schools reopened on Sunday with help from UNICEF, allowing over 16,000 children to resume their education.
Some schools in the area were closed for up to two years, and girls were banned from getting an education.
“Just a few weeks ago, these neighborhoods were gripped by violence. Today, girls and boys are heading back to class,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq. ”After the nightmare of the past two years, this is a pivotal moment for the children of Mosul to reclaim their education and their hope for a better future.”
An additional 40 schools are expected to open in the coming weeks after being checked for unexplored ordinance by local authorities to accommodate a total of 40,000 students.
UNICEF is supporting Iraqi authorities to rehabilitate, equip and open more schools as the security situation allows. Many have been used for military purposes or badly damaged by the recent fighting. Assistance from UNICEF includes:
· Provision of water and sanitation services in schools
· Retraining for teachers and educators
· Introducing accelerated learning programmes for children
· Awareness campaigns against violence
· Prepositioning school supplies for 120,000 students in East Mosul
UNICEF and education partners are also supporting 13,200 newly-displaced children living in camps outside Mosul with access to education in mathematics, science, Arabic and English through temporary learning spaces.