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In Pictures: These Children In War Zones Are Still Attending School

According to Unicef, nearly 3.5 million school-aged children in Iraq are not receiving education.

Posted on November 16, 2016, at 7:16 a.m. ET

One in every five schools in Iraq are out of use because of its ongoing conflict. In Syria, an estimated 2 million children are out of school. Meanwhile, South Sudan has one of the largest number of children who are not attending school at all. As millions of children in war zones are deprived of receiving an education, they are increasingly facing risks of early marriage, child labor, and recruitment into armed groups.

Between January and September this year, Unicef Iraq said it helped get more than 116,000 out-of-school children back into classrooms, and distributed school supplies and learning materials to more than 280,000 children.

These photos, all from 2016, show children from war-torn countries continuing their education despite the ongoing conflicts around them.



Girls attend a damaged school in Ramadi, Anbar province, Iraq.


A young girl looks through a hole in the wall of a school in Ramadi.


Boys jump over floodwater on their way to school in Baghdad.


Sjud, 11 (centre), back in class in Ramadi three days after returning home from a camp in Sulaymaniyah.


UNICEF/UN026956/Rajat Madhok

A classroom in Sa’ad, Yemen, shows damage caused by conflict.



Students at a primary school in Hujjaira, rural Damascus, have not been able to attend classes because of the damaged building. In Syria, 1 in 4 schools are damaged, destroyed, or occupied for military purposes or to host displaced families.

UNICEF/UN018873/Khalil Alshawi

A boy stands in front of his school, which was flattened by a bombardment in Ainjara village in rural Aleppo, Syria.

UNICEF/UN034442/Rami Zayat

Students return from school in eastern Aleppo. Judy, one of the students, told Unicef he goes to class every day, except when he hears the planes hovering in the sky.

UNICEF/UN037962/Khalil Ashawi

In Syria's Idlib province, two former teachers have transformed a cave into a school. Almost 120 children take classes in two shifts.

South Sudan


Chubat (right), a 12-year old South Sudanese student, sits with her friend in the burned ruins of her school in the Malakal Protection of Civilian site. The school had five classrooms and seven teachers.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.