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School starts in Syria, but thousands not in class

posted Sep 17, 2012, 6:09 AM by Syrian Transition   [ updated Sep 17, 2012, 6:09 AM ]
17 Sept 2012 (Free Press) Sunday was the official first day of school in Syria, but the country's civil war is keeping thousands of students out of classrooms nationwide. Many schools have been destroyed or occupied by refugees. Some parents are simply too afraid to send their children to school. Still others are living in refugee camps outside Syria.

Dina Craissati, regional education adviser for the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, said at least 200,000 Syrian children displaced from their homes within the country are having difficulty getting to school. Outside Syria's borders, the United Nations has registered more than 250,000 refugees -- including children -- but tens of thousands more have fled without registering.

The Syrian government said more than 5 million students attended school Sunday.