A lack of funds for the education sector in the western countryside of Hama province has caused severe shortage of textbooks along with the lack of teachers’ salaries.
“Teachers have been working voluntarily for the second year in four schools, while the other schools are depending on aid to secure textbooks for students and salaries for teachers," said Khalid al-Fares, a supervisor at the Free Education Directorate in rebel-held areas of Hama.
Fares added that there is no plan to secure winter requirements for schools in western Hama.
About 50 teachers suffer from harsh living conditions as they do not receive salaries and many of them will have to leave the education system and go to another job to receive a monthly salary to meet the needs of their families, according to Fares.
Activists have appealed to humanitarian organizations and associations interested in the education system to provide aid to the schools. The closure of these schools threatens the future of more than 500 students from grades 1 to 9, the education official said.
The Directorate of Free Education in Hama held a meeting last week with school principals and teachers to find solutions to the mounting obstacles, but no change on the ground.
Fares said the neglect of the education sector in the opposition-held areas by the Interim Government and other officials in the sector is one of the reasons for students dropping out and their tendency towards employment, in order to help their families.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.