Originally published on NRC website, 25 October 2017.

The conflict in Syria has left many children and youth without an education. Most of them are too young to remember a life without war. Inside the country, 1.75 million children are currently out of school – and for those fortunate enough to be in the classroom, the risk of dropping out is quickly rising. 

Sold sweets

Eid and Ismail used to sell sweets in the streets, but they did not like it because it was very tiring.

In August 2017, the two brothers attended classes supported by the Norwegian refugee Council (NRC) where children who have missed out on education can catch up with their peers. Now, they can finally go back to school.

In Sahnaya, a city in southern Syria, south-west of Damascus, NRC runs summer schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. The pupils are children aged six to twelve who are out of school or at risk of dropping out.

More than 2,000 children and 150 teachers have participated in the summer schools. They provide a safe space for playing and learning, in addition to preparing the children on returning to school.

Forgot how to read and write

Sadiq has forgotten how to read and write since he fled Aleppo six years ago. Now, he is trying to catch up on years of lost education.

Sadiq has forgotten how to read and write since he fled Aleppo six years ago. Now, he is trying to catch up on years of lost education.

Being the family's breadwinner, Sadiq has to work from eight in the morning until six in the evening before going to the learning centre.

Managed to escape

Sidra, 14 and from Deir ez-Zor, was out of school for three years before she and her family managed to escape from the Islamic State group and go to Damascus. We are now helping her catch up on her lost education to become a lawyer.

Want to go back to school

Twelve-year-old Ibrahim was displaced from Raqqa, northern Syria, by the Islamic State group five years ago. He has not been to school since. 

In Syria, the conditions inside schools and the quality of education have deteriorated drastically since the start of the war. One in four schools has been damaged or destroyed. More than 150,000 teachers have stopped teaching. In families where parents have lost their income, children have dropped out of school to work.

Ibrahim has been working in a car repair shop for the past five years. He attended the NRC-supported summer school in August 2017. Now he is determined to go back to school and achieve his dream of becoming a teacher.

Never been to school

12-year-old Nisreen has never been to school because of violence and displacement from Aleppo. Thanks to catch-up classes she did last summer, she is excited to go to school for the first time in her life this month.

Fled alone

Qamar, 12 years old, fled Aleppo and arrived alone in Sahnaya in August 2017. His mother was killed by a sniper and his father abandoned him to find refuge in Lebanon.

See more video stories from childrens of Syria, here.