Almotamar.net - More than seven million Yemeni girls and boys started on Saturday the new school year. In addition, it is expected that about 800,000 children will be enrolled in the first primary grade, according to the Ministry of Education.
In cooperation with UNICEF and other partners including USAID’s Responsive Governance Project (RGP), CHF International and Save The Children, Education Ministry has launched a nationwide Back-To-School campaign aimed at increasing the number of children going to school and reducing dropout during the school year 2011-2012.
“Given the government's commitment to provide access to education for all children of school age, the ministry is working now with partners on the implementation of the Back to School campaign to ensure all students are back to school nationwide and mainly in the affected areas,” said the Minister of Education, Dr. Abdul-Salam al-Jawfi.
The Back-to-School campaign seeks to increase access to schools and reduce dropout during the school year 2011-2012 by raising the awareness of communities about the value of education and importance of sending children to schools, the distribution of learning teaching supplies to 885,750 displaced persons, host communities and vulnerable groups, in order to make sure they do not fall through the cracks, as well as training more than 4000 untrained or poorly trained teachers to be able to impart quality education as well as psychosocial support.
Despite many challenges seen in many parts of Yemen today, sending children to school should be a top priority for parents, communities as well as the government. Towards that end, a national emergency committee and field taskforce teams are on the ground in different regions working continuously for accelerated implementation and follow-up of the campaign.
“Without an educated population, no country thrives”, says UNICEF Yemen representative Geert Cappelaere. “In a country where only 70% of boys and 60% of girls receive basic education, no effort should be spared in making sure every single child is sent to school this year. Aside from the provision of supplies and training of teachers, we try to achieve this by raising the awareness of communities on the value of education and importance of sending children to schools, especially girls.”
On another note, RGP Acting Chief of Party, Mehboob Karim believes that the comprehensive media campaign on TV, radio, newspapers and other publicity materials will effectively contribute to raising the awareness of parents throughout Yemen about education, and encourage them to send their children to school.
“Our engagement in the implementation of the campaign was to raise the profile of education and establish an effective partnership with the Yemeni government, international organizations and civil society organizations,” Karim said. “The media awareness campaign was skilfully crafted around chronic and emergency issues including girls’ education, child labor and armed conflict.”
The teacher training program – as a major component of the Back-to-School campaign - represents an attempt to improve the quality of education, a fundamental pillar for sustainable development, according to CHF Country Director, Roberta Contin.
“I would like to stress the importance of implementing such capacity building interventions in regions with emergencies where teachers are set to provide psychosocial support for children aside from traditional education”.
The Minister of Education emphasized that the campaign cannot achieve its full potential of increasing rates of enrolment without real cooperation from all stakeholders at national and local levels.
“Education is a collective responsibility for everyone,” said Minister Al-Jawfi. “We urge everybody to make sure that all our school-age daughters and sons are back in school by 17 September. We also appeal to political parties, community organizations, and the media and mosque preachers to enthusiastically engage during the campaign and ensure that access to education is guaranteed to all children without any exception.
“We are confident that teachers and educators will be at the level of national responsibility and will always provide the appropriate atmosphere for a smooth scholastic year,” Al-Jawfi concluded.
At least 11 people were killed in Dhalea province when the Saudi warplanes targeted al-Mahla area with several raids, a military official said.
The Saudi warplanes also hit Harib-al-Qaramish area and Serwah district of Mareb province with several air raids, the official said, adding the raids caused many casualties.
Moreover, a woman was wounded when the aggression targeted Hareb-Nehm in Sana'a province with two air raids to back an attempt of the hirelings to make progress on the ground.
In Sana'a province, the Riyadh's hirelings targeted the army and popular committees' sites in Nehm district and fired tens of rockets on Mabda'a, Bani Bareq and Malh areas in the district, according to the official.
The hirelings in Taiz province hit al-Qashuba area in al-Waze'yah district, al-Amri and Dhubab city with artillery shells.
The aggression dropped sound bombs on the sky of Harf Sufyan district of Amran province, he noted.
Meanwhile, the Saudi aggression intensified flying on the skies of the capital and its suburbs, Taiz and its coastline, Sa'ada, Hajjah, Mareb and Mahweet, Jawf provinces.
An agreement was reached to release one thousand prisoners from both of the parties to the conflict in Yemen before the holy month of Ramadan, sources in the national delegation in Kuwait said on Thursday.
The sources explained that each party will submit a list of 500 prisoners to the United Nations next Saturday, which in turn will hand over the list of each party to the other party.
The national delegation continued on Thursday, during a session with the UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to discuss ideas and proposals relating to the transition roadmap.
In the session, the national delegation insisted on the need to form a consensus executive authority and determine the time-bound tasks and powers of the transitional phase leading to presidential and parliamentary elections.
The delegation underlined the importance of finding adequate guarantees for a political solution leads to stopping the Saudi aggression, lifting the siege, achieving peace and ending the suffering of the Yemeni people
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to take steps to end the suffering of civilians.
The MSF demanded the parties to the conflict to ensure the safety of health facilities and their workers and give them the opportunity to do their job effectively and safely.
" The organization (MSF) does its efforts in areas that are most in need of medical and humanitarian assistance and we ask all parties to the conflict to respect our work, " MSF's official Will Turner said in a press release.
Turner confirmed that the organization will remain committed to providing health care to patients and respond to the emergency medical needs and will stand by the side of the conflict victims.
Scores of the aggression’s hirelings were killed and others injured, including al-Qaeda leaders, in clashes occurred in al-Maslob district of Jawf province, a military official said Tuesday.
The official confirmed the killing of the two terrorists Manea Hamad Gharza and Mohsen Saleh al-Hadar and a number of mercenaries during a failed attempt to infiltrate towards the army and popular committees locations in al-Waqaz area of al-Maslob district.
The Saudi-led coalition warplanes waged on Tuesday three raids on Harib Nehm area western of Mareb province, in a flagrant breach to the ceasefire.
A local official said that the hostile raids came in conjunction with repulsing the aggression mercenaries who tried to advance toward Harib Nehm area.
The aggression’s hirelings crept toward al-Khaneq area and Wadi al-Namla in direction of Sanomah junction and al-Dhabiya’a area in Harib Nehm, where they were repelled by the army and popular committees and many of them were killed and injured, a military official said.