Syrian boy reads a torn paper inside his destroyed school classroom © AP / Reporters
Syrian boy reads a torn paper inside his destroyed school classroom © AP / Reporters

Syria: EI condemns the targeting of schools in the war

published 28 February 2020 updated 4 March 2020

At least 20 civilians, including children and teachers, were killed in the Idlib region of Syria in airstrikes. Many more were wounded. The attack took place on 25 February and targeted eight school facilities.

Six schools and two nurseries were bombed in a single day, during opening hours, when casualties would be highest. They are the latest in a long list of schools targeted in the conflict, with 22 educational facilities bombed in the last two months alone.

Education International condemns these attacks in the strongest possible terms. David Edwards, Education International General Secretary, said: “Targeting school children and teachers is unforgivable and cannot be tolerated. Schools must be safe sanctuaries, places of learning and peace, even in war zones. They are never legitimate targets. We call on the international community to do the right thing and protect innocent civilians.”

Education International has sent an official letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres, stressing that schools are protected by international law, that education is a fundamental right irrespective of the circumstances, and that the international community has a moral duty to do everything in its power to protect students and teachers.

In 2009, Education International adopted a Declaration that Schools Shall Be Safe Sanctuaries. The organisation has been engaged in advocacy initiatives urging the international community to prevent violations of the right to education, to ensure the safety of learners, teachers, education personnel, and academics everywhere, to strengthen international law and end impunity.