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Yazidi survivors of ISIS want to go back to school
by Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra)
Wednesday Dec 30th, 2020 1:35 AM
Young people who survived Islamic State (ISIS) captivity say they have not been able to resume their formal education for years while living at camps for the internally displaced in the Kurdistan Region.
Malik Maraan, a 13-year-old Yazidi, wants to be a dentist when he grows up. But like thousands of other Yazidis, he was taken captive by ISIS in 2014 with his family when he was in the second grade.

Malik now lives in Rwanga camp in Duhok province with his cousin. The rest of his family has been missing since they were kidnapped from the the village of Kocho in Nineveh province, he said while appearing on Rudaw’s Berpirsiyar program.

“I wanted to go back to school with my friends, but they told me that I have grown up and cannot return,” Malik told Berpirsiyar host Shahyan Tahseen on Thursday.

Shirin Ibrahim, now 20 years old, was in the eighth grade when she was taken captive by ISIS. She said she has missed out on a formal education ever since.

“I tried several times to return to school, but the education directorate rejected my requests,” Shirin said.

The spokesperson for Iraq’s Ministry of Education put accelerated learning forward as a solution to the plight of young Yazidis missing out on a formal education.

“The accelerated learning method serves people like Malik, as they will be able to catch up with their peers,” spokesperson Haidar Faruq told Rudaw.

“If he goes back to second grade at the age of 13, he won’t graduate from primary school until the age of 17. But with accelerated learning, he will be able to finish two or even three grades in a shorter period of time.”

The education ministry has paired up with global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps in a program called “Your right is in education”, to help students like Malik catch up on missed schooling, Faruq said.

“The aim of this program is to make education accessible to places struck by poverty, or post-conflict areas,” he added.

by Dilan Sirwan
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