Tent classrooms rise from rubble of bombed schools in Yemen

By Khaled Abdullah

Sanaa, Sep 15 (EFE).- In the playground of a village school near Yemen’s capital Sanaa, tent classrooms are pitched to give students a semblance of normality as they start a new school year after several of their classrooms were reduced to rubble by airstrikes six years ago.

Some 740 pupils, segregated by gender, now share tents or damaged classrooms at the Science and Faith school in Maqreesh village, around 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Sanaa.

“It is extremely difficult for the pupils, students and teachers alike to bear the boiling heat inside the tents,” Ruqaiya Musaed, a science teacher, tells Efe as she moves out of a tent with 48 students squeezed into it.

In October 2015, when students were off for a holiday, aircraft belonging to the Saudi-led Arab coalition completely destroyed eight classrooms in the school building.

Inside the tents, children use small cement blocks as tables on the muddy ground as they bow their heads to try to concentrate while reading their books.

“They always complain of back pain and inability to see the whiteboard,” Musaed explains. “This situation makes them distracted and unable to concentrate.”

Students begin their day with morning drills performed as enthusiastic chants are played on a loudspeaker mounted on the roof of the intact part of the destroyed school.

Zainab al-Aghrubi, 14, is an eighth-grade student. She and her peers are among the lucky students to have their class in the school’s building, not in a tent.

“We will continue attending our classes even under the trees,” al-Aghrubi, who wears a green school uniform and a black veil, says.

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