UN calls on all parties to the conflict in Syria to facilitate safe passage for students to sit their final examinations
students have been subject to harassment and intimidation
The United Nations today called on all parties to the conflict in Syria to facilitate safe passage for students travelling to government areas to sit their final high school examinations.
Up to 23,000 students, mostly from the northeast but also from the northwest, are expected to travel across conflict lines to government areas to sit the exams scheduled to begin in two days, on 21 June. They will join some 250,000 students across the country sitting these examinations.
In a statement, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Imran Riza, and the Regional Coordinator, Kevin Kennedy, say that that according to reports, in at least two incidents, members of non-state armed groups have denied dozens of students safe transit through checkpoints in Idleb and Aleppo governorates while on their way to examination centers.
Other reports indicate that elsewhere in the country, including in Ar-Raqqa governorate, students have been subject to harassment and intimidation.
In Syria, children already face a raft of challenges to stay in school, including displacement, ongoing hostilities and widespread poverty. The Covid-19 pandemic has further disrupted access to essential education.
Children in Syria, wherever they may live, have the right to complete their education, including through national examinations which is a fundamental and transformative milestone in any child's life. Any interference to education is unacceptable.
The UN in Syria and education partners are supporting a protective environment for all students sitting exams across the country. This includes support for safe accommodation and examination centers, and for measures to mitigate possible transmission of Covid-19.
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