Tigray Crisis Forces 1.4 Million Students Out of School in Northern Ethiopia

No fewer than 7,000 schools have been destroyed by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in North Ethiopia, leaving more than 1.4 million students in the area out of school.

The Minister of Education, Getahun Mekuria, made the remark in his opening speech delivered at the 30th National General Education Sector Conference in Addis Ababa on Monday.

He accused the TPLF fighters – who have been at war with the Ethiopian government since November 2020 – of partially or fully damaging thousands of academic institutes in the states of Tigray, Amhara and Afar.

He added that 48,000 teachers are forced to be idle due to the continued provocative acts of the TPLF.

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On June 29, the Ethiopian government unilaterally declared a cease-fire and withdrew its forces from Tigray. Since then, the TPLF has encroached on large areas of neighbouring Amhara and Afar states.

In Afar alone, 445 schools that host more than 88,000 students from different educational levels were destroyed by the TPLF.

“Some 140 schools and two training colleges for teachers have also been fully or partially destroyed,” the minister added.

The minister also posted a message on Twitter saying that “as a result of TPLF futile war in northern Ethiopia in Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions, more than 7,000 schools have been fully (some partially) damaged, more than 1.42M students have been out of school already in Tigray or will be out of school in Afar, Amhara. Very sad.”

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The Ethiopian government and the TPLF, which ruled Ethiopia for 27 years until 2018, have been fighting since November last year. According to official estimates, more than 2 million people have been internally displaced in Ethiopia, while tens of thousands have fled into neighbouring Sudan.

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