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Victims of the Syrian Civil War: Plight of Syria’s Children

At least 652 children were killed in Syria in 2016, making it the worst year as of yet for the children in Syria's history of civil war.

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Syria, Mar 15, 2017: At least 652 children were killed in Syria in 2016, making it the worst year as of yet for the children in Syria’s history of civil war, according to data released by UNICEF two days before the 6th anniversary of the uprising that turned into civil war, as reported by PTI.

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255 children were killed in or near schools in 2016. 1 out of every 3 schools in Syria is unusable, due to occupation by armed groups and 1.7 million children are out of school. An additional 2.3 million Syrian children are refugees throughout the Middle East.

In violation of laws of war, attacks on schools, hospitals, playgrounds, parks and homes by both the Syrian government and it’s opponents were frequent in 2016.

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Dozens of Syrian children are dying from preventable diseases, due to lack of proper medical care. The evils of the war has forced many children into child labor, early marriage, and combat. At least 851 children were recruited by armed factions in 2016 which is more than double of 2015.

Save the Children, an international charity in a report released a week ago had said that signs of “toxic stress” are occurring amongst the youngsters, which consequences into lifelong health problems, addiction and mental disorders which might continue into adulthood.

Prepared by Upama Bhattacharya. Twitter @Upama_myself

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A lesson in the woods may boost kids’ learning

Moreover, the number of times the teacher had to redirect a student's attention to their work was roughly halved immediately after an outdoor lesson.

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Just sitting in classrooms makes children more dull. Wikimedia Commons
Just sitting in classrooms makes children more dull. Wikimedia Commons
  • To help students concentrate and learn more, teachers have found a new way of teaching them.
  • This technique of teaching outdoors will boost children’s mental capabilities to learn and remember.

Are your students unable to concentrate on their lessons in the classroom? Take them for outdoor learning sessions.

According to a study, a lesson in the lap of nature can significantly increase children’s attention level and boost their learning.

While adults exposed to parks, trees or wildlife have been known to experience benefits such as increased physical activity, stress reduction, rejuvenated attention and increased motivation, in children, even a view of greenery through a classroom window can have positive effects on their attention span, the researchers said.

The study showed that post an outdoor lesson, students were significantly more attentive and engaged with their schoolwork and were not overexcited or inattentive.

Taking students outside help them concentrate more. Wikimedia Commons
Taking students outside help them concentrate more. Wikimedia Commons

Moreover, the number of times the teacher had to redirect a student’s attention to their work was roughly halved immediately after an outdoor lesson.

“Our teachers were able to teach uninterrupted for almost twice as long at a time after the outdoor lesson and we saw the nature effect with our sceptical teacher as well,” said Ming Kuo, a scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the US.

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, researchers tested their hypothesis in third graders (9-10 years old) in a school.

A few minutes outside help students concentrate better. VOA
A few minutes outside help students concentrate better. VOA

Over a 10-week period, an experienced teacher held one lesson a week outdoors and a similar lesson in her regular classroom and another, more sceptical teacher did the same. Their outdoor “classroom” was a grassy spot just outside the school, in view of a wooded area.

A previous research suggested that 15 minutes of self-paced exercise can also significantly improve a child’s mood, attention and memory. IANS

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