Transport Crisis | Disruption of educational and schooling in Regime-held areas • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Transport Crisis | Disruption of educational and schooling in Regime-held areas

In light of the increasing stifling public transportation crisis due to lack of public means of transportation and high fees of private taxis along with fuel crisis across regime-held areas, educational operations has almost been interrupted in Hama countryside, Homs, and some areas in Rif Dimashq.

SOHR activists have reported that teachers are unable to go to the schools due to the absence of transportation, especially those living far from their schools or in city centers, and vice versa.

Over the reduction of the provision of Subsidized diesel allocations by the government of the regime, public transportation drivers have refused to transport teachers from Silmiyah city to the villages of al-Ayyur, Danin, Te al-dahab, Tamak, Halban, Danibah, Taybah al-Turkey, and al-Bardounah in the northern countryside of Silmiyah city. Therefore, the aforementioned areas have experienced almost complete disruption of the educational process.

Moreover, schools in the villages and towns in Homs countryside and Damascus are experiencing a similar situation of the absence of teachers due to the lack of public transport. However, the deterioration of living crises in regime-held areas is met with no reaction by the Government of the regime.

A few days ago, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published a report on the escalation of the transportation crisis in regime-controlled areas, which states:

Poor transportation services top the chronic crises in regime-held areas, further burdening the Syrian people, particularly university students and employees, who have been grappling with the high costs of traveling by private taxis and lack of public means of transportation, as too much time is wasted daily, waiting for a bus and an empty seats on buses to take them to their universities and work place.

High fees of private taxis

Some students are forced to take private taxis to work and universities on a daily basis. Some people agree with their colleagues to split themselves into groups of five and share the fees of a taxi which range between 10,000 and 30,000 SYL to reach their work or universities. However, this share is still unaffordable by many students who have no jobs and rely on their parents for financial support.

In a testimony to SOHR, a student known as Mustafa Mohammed said, “it takes me five hours to travel from the suburbs of Tartus city to Teshreen university in Latakia because of the lack of public means of transportation, the sever congestion and the fights among the passengers over the priority to get on buses. I have to wait a long time until I find an empty seat on a bus. Many of my colleagues stopped going to the university, as they are fed up with the exhausting trip. In addition, they are unable to pay for private taxis.”

Transportation costs devour third of a government employee’s salary

Employees, however, are struggling with the poor transportation services to reach their work, whether in governmental institutions or private ones. An employee called Mohammed Aid SOHR, “I pay 3,000 SYL every day to get to and return from work, as I have to travel from the suburbs of Damascus to a governmental institution in the capital. Although I get 215,000 SYL a month, I spent nearly 90,000 SYL of my salary just to commute to work. Then, how I can secure essential needs for my four-member family with the remaining 155,000 SYL (40 USD) in light of the stifling economic hardship!!!”

Women harassed and verbally abused in public transportation

SOHR sources have monitored an alarming escalation of harassment of women using public transportation, as several young and adult men exploit congestion and sexually harass women and girls, almost publicly, while getting on buses. Another student known by her initials as M. K. shared her experience with SOHR, as she was once harassed while traveling from Homs city to Al-Ba’th University. The girl said, “I was sexually harassed in public, while I was getting into a public microbus. While a large number of boys and girls were scrambled, trying to getting into the microbus, a young man deliberately touched my body and groped me. Although some of the passengers saw him, no one expressed any interest, as all of them cared about nothing but having a seat in the microbus to go to their work or universities. Many women and girls are harassed daily on public transportations, but they dare not tell about such incidents. Although there are 12 seats in a microbus, passengers are forced to be piled in these microbuses due to the current crisis.”

We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, have been all along warning against the repercussions of the disastrous situation in Syria with the Syrian regime clinging only to power, disregarding the sufferings of the Syrian people. We also renew our appeal to the international community not to abandon their responsibility and obligations to find a lasting solution to the tragedy of millions of Syrians.

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