45,000 students go to Afrin schools: Syrian official

By Ali Abo Rezeg, Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

ANKARA (AA) – Roughly 45,000 students go to the Afrin-based schools in northwestern Syria every day, according to a Syrian official on Tuesday.

In a panel organized by the Ankara-based Centre for Middle East Studies, Khalid Suleyman, head of the Afrin Local Council, said around 1500 teachers in 249 schools are teaching these students on a daily basis.

The panel, which came a year after the liberation of Afrin, saw a wide attendance of politicians, researchers, and students.

As for the language being taught in these schools, Suleyman said Arabic and Kurdish are the languages used in these schools and teachers there follow the Syrian Coalition-linked curriculums.

Regarding the teachers' salaries, Suleyman told Anadolu Agency that Turkey's Maarif Foundation helps in paying their stipends.

Suleyman went on to call on the international community in general and Turkey in particular to help them establish a university there which the region "is in dire need."

He also pointed out that at least 23 medical centers are providing health services for the people throughout the region.

In January of last year, Turkey launched a major military operation — Operation Olive Branch — with the stated aim of purging Afrin of YPG/PKK terrorist elements.

On March 18 of last year, the 58th day of the operation, Afrin was liberated by Turkish troops backed by FSA fighters.

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