News Archive

Child survivors of December's shooting at a Peshawar school are living with the trauma

A boy from the school where nearly 150 children were murdered by the Pakistani Taliban has posted two moving images showing his absent classmates who were killed in the attack.

Khaula Syed Ali remembers tucking her 8-year-old son's white school uniform shirt into his beige shorts and combing his hair. But the boy was pleading. "Mama, please don't send me to school," said Ahmed, who is in the second grade. "The Taliban will kill me."

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Monday decided to allow employees of all educational institutions, including teachers, to carry licensed arms on the premises to respond fittingly in case of a terrorist attack.

On December 19, media offices in Peshawar received a one-line press release: “We washed the entire building of Army Public School and cleaned it — Bilal Faizi, Rescue 1122.” Nearly a month later, the school that saw 150 deaths after gunmen stormed it on December 16 will reopen on Monday.

The year 2014 ended with the starkest of reminders of the deadly dangers some students in the world face just trying to attend school. On December 16, 132 school children (and 13 others) were killed in an attack on their school in Peshawar, Pakistan, by a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban.

At least 160 children died in attacks on schools in war-ravaged Syria last year and the education of 1.6 million has been cut short by the fighting, the U.N. said Tuesday.

Between 2005 and 2012, armed groups have used education institutions for their own purposes in at least 24 countries in conflict, according to Human Rights Watch. Last week at the United Nations in Geneva, 29 nations supported a number of guidelines in order to protect schools and universities from military use.

The attack in Peshawar that killed more than 100 children last week was just one of hundreds of Taliban attacks against schools, says a new report. And the violence is working, with millions of Pakistani children now out of schoolL

Conflict in Ukraine has left 147 schools closed in parts of Donetsk Oblast where fighting is ongoing, and disrupted the education of some 50,000 children since September 1.