Yemeni Students Return to Airstrike-hit School

Local Editor

The war in Yemen has forced more than two million children out of school and put 3.7 million others at high risk because of the non-payment of teachers' salaries, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

But for those who can return, they will risk everything in order to go back to the classrooms, even to sit on the rubble of airstrike-hit schools.

On the early morning of Sept. 4, 2015, while the parents of Mohammed Othman were preparing to walk him to the nearby Shuhada-Alwahdah School for enrolling him in the first grade, they suddenly heard a loud roar of planes hovering overhead, then explosions shaking the ground and people screaming.

The warplanes struck the school in Al-Radhmah district in Ibb province, about 193 km south of the Yemeni capital Sana’a.

There were no military installations near the airstrike-hit school, but it was not the first time that a school has been bombed during the war in Yemen that has been lasting for more four years, which has since pushed many parents to prevent their children from going to school amid fears of such airstrikes.

The war erupted after a Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched a military aggression in early 2015 to support the ex-regime of Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who resigned in February 2015.

Nearly four years after the airstrikes hit the Shuhada-Alwahdah school in Ibb, the now 11-year-old Mohammed Othman along with dozens of his classmates returned in September to the classrooms of the bomb-out school. They have no alternative.

"I cannot understand the lesson when I look up to the destroyed ceiling... I am afraid it could collapse on our heads at any moment," Mohammed told Xinhua.

"We have no other choice," he lamented.

The Shuhada-Alwahdah school is like many other bombed-out schools in Yemen, where there were no tables or chairs for the students or the teachers who have not been paid for over two years. They all sit on the cold ground or the rubble left from the ruined windows and doors, or on the bricks that fell down form the rickety walls.

The teachers in Yemen have been suffering greatly along with their families for not being paid for over two years now due to the war. However, many have been keeping the good job in teaching the young generations in order for broad hopes of helping build a bright future.

Issa al-Dhamini, one of the teachers in the Shuhada-Alwahdah School, stands high when he talks about his national duty to educate the young generation in wartime.

"Targeting a school is targeting the nation's future," teacher al-Dhamini warned.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by Website Team