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With Turkish help, schools in N. Syria to open Sunday

WITH TURKISH HELP, SCHOOLS IN N. SYRIA TO OPEN SUNDAY

Schools in northern Syria that were cleared of terrorist elements thanks to Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield -- and later repaired with the support of the Turkish government and Turkish aid agencies -- are set to open their doors on Sunday.

In coordination with a handful of Turkish aid agencies, Turkey's National Education Ministry has recently finished repairing 450 schools damaged by earlier attacks by the Daesh terrorist group and the Syrian regime.

Schools in Aleppo's Azaz and Mara districts are now being run by local councils affiliated with the Syrian opposition's transitional government and education directorate.

Ali Riza Altunel, a senior Turkish National Education Ministry official, told Anadolu Agency that some 5,200 teachers would provide local youth with education this year at 450 schools in the affected areas.

"Turkey has provided Syrian teachers with the training needed to raise the overall quality of education," Altunel said.

"Teachers were subjected to intensive testing and only those who were qualified were granted employment," he added.

He went on to stress that the curriculums to be used at these schools were in accordance with Syria's education system, adding that all the necessary supplies -- including textbooks -- would be provided within the next month.

"These children [who will be taught at the schools] are no different than our own; they are the future of this war-torn region," Altunel said. "They must safeguard their country by improving themselves."

In a wide-ranging operation launched last summer, the Free Syrian Army -- with the support of the Turkish army -- cleared 2,000 square kilometers of land along the Turkish-Syrian border of terrorist elements.

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