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With UNICEF-supported remedial classes, children in Tartous prepare for their national exams.

©UNICEF/ Syria 2018/ Abdulaziz Aldroubi

 

Almost seven years ago, Naya and her family, were forced to flee their home in Deir-ez-Zor, north-eastern Syria and sought safety in rural Tartous.

After years of war, displacement and inflation, the family’s financial resources were depleted, forcing Naya to work in a spices factory to help her parents put food on the table.

“I went to school in the morning and worked in the evening, but I was too exhausted to focus,” recalls Naya, who had to repeat Grade 9 twice. Last year, Naya, now 16, lost hope and decided to quit learning.

“I was sad and embarrassed, I did not have any hope,” she adds.

Naya then learned about the UNICEF-supported centre and signed up for remedial education sessions, encouraged by her mother.

“Aside from all the academic support I received at the centre, the teachers believed in me so much and lifted me up,” says Naya with a smile. “They became my friends and family,” she adds, speaking at the UNICEF-supported centre where she rushed after her English exam to see her teachers.

“They gave me back the chance to dream!”

Naya dreams of becoming a nurse one day and has a message for students everywhere: “Never give up hope, I’m so close to achieving my dreams and so are you.”

Last week, over 250,000 children across Syria are sitting for their national Grade 9 exams, including students who have benefited from the UNICEF-supported remedial education programme in Tartous.

The supporting sessions aim to help children who are at risk of dropping out of school to catch up with their peers and continue their learning, including those who missed out on years of education due to conflict and displacement and those lagging in their studies.

 Last year alone, and with thanks to the generous contribution of Canada, almost 900 children aged six to 17 engaged in these sessions in Tartous and its suburbs, including 50 who are sitting for their Grade 9 exams this week, having prepared well at UNICEF-supported centres.

 

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