Each year, September burdens Syrians with inevitable worries that increase the routine burden they are accustomed to in various months of the year.
As a result of the need to secure many supplies this month (schools, supplies, heating diesel), residents of all Syrian territories may have to trade them off and choose the “most important” ones for the family itself.
The educational process in Syria, like various aspects of life, has been affected by the circumstances of about 12 years of war, which have kept many students out of school. Others and their families, however, have been placed under the weight of dilapidated economic conditions, between low wages and high prices.
If military variables have imposed themselves on the ground and transformed the country into different areas of control and administration, what has brought together those areas is the difficulty of securing the needs and priorities of life in the absence of an income commensurate with the requirements, especially in the face of seasonal occasions, such as the opening of schools.
Ahmed Khalaf, a resident of the city of Talbasiyeh in Homs governorate, is a father of three students distributed in secondary and primary education. He explained to Enab Baladi that the costs needed by one student reach 150,000 Syrian pounds by the beginning of the school year.
Hani (aged 42), a resident of Tafas city, told Enab Baladi about the reality of returning to school and its burdens. He is a father of six children, four of whom are in school.
Hani stressed that equipping his children and securing their necessities requires an expensive and arduous budget for the family. At the same time, he is forced to bear these expenses, as they are related to the future of his children. This pushes him to borrow money to secure school supplies such as clothing, stationery and books.
Out of regime-control: A similar reality
In addition, people’s economic conditions in areas outside the regime’s control are similar to those within the regime’s control, with high prices and low wages, instability in the value of the currency, the absence of a fixed income among a large segment of the population, and the lack of support for seasonal necessities such as those of school students.
Nouri al-Hassan, a worker in a food warehouse in the Hassakeh governorate, controlled by the Autonomous Administration, works on a daily wage. He explained to Enab Baladi that the burdens of the school year do not stop at securing clothes and stationery, which is a set of pens and notebooks that the student needs during the school year; there are also transportation fees from home to school depending on the length of the distance between them, which requires about 45,000 Syrian pounds per month, unlike in 2021. Transportation fees nearly doubled, approximately.
Nouri explained that to deal with financial obligations of this kind, his children are forced to use school bags and clothes for several years. They rely on thrift shops, along with cash transfers from family and friends residing outside Syria. He pointed out that the cost of preparing the student for school at the beginning of the year is not less than 200,000 Syrian pounds.
In Idleb in northwestern Syria, where the Salvation Government is in control, Abu Mohammed, a seller of socks and accessories, believes that the devaluation of the Turkish lira (the currency used in financial and commercial transactions in the region), and the low level of income, have affected the economic situation of people to a large extent, in the face of faltering work and rising costs.
The man explained that each of his two children needs between 200 and 250 Turkish liras for buying a bag and stationery, without a solution that relieves the family of the trouble of high costs.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.