ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A school in a Christian village near the Kurdistan Region's northern border has temporarily halted all activities due to intermittent Turkish shelling near the area.
"The school has been in recess for the past ten days," Nadir Gada, a teacher at the Shransha primary school told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday, saying that the reason was continued Turkish attacks in the area.
The village, also called Shransha, lies in Duhok's Zakho district, northwest of the regional capital of Erbil.
Turkey has routinely shelled and bombarded with warplanes territory well past its border with the Kurdistan Region, claiming nearby detection of members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a group fighting a decades-long insurgency with Ankara over Kurdish rights and self-rule.
Gada added, "The teachers, who are not from the village, are not ready to return and risk their lives" by working here.
The children expressed hope that they would soon be able to return to their studies.
The district's Education General Directorate has been working to resume schooling so the children don't lose an entire year of study.
"We will try to bring more teachers to the village and... if that does not work we will provide a vehicle for the pupils to drive them to the nearest school," Nazir Yusuf, Director-General of the Education Department of Zakho, told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday.
Fifteen days following the initial closure of the school, the local government was finally able to provide a sufficient number of teachers and resume the facility's activities on Thursday.
"Through concerted efforts with the competent authorities… the school’s doors are now open once again, and we have returned to daily lessons," Zeravan Musa, the mayor of Zakho's Derkare district, told Kurdistan 24.
Although there seems to be a discrepancy in the number of days the school's doors had been shut, all sides welcomed the reopening and thanked Kurdistan 24 for raising the concerns of local residents with the authorities through the initial report by Duhok-based correspondent Islam Yusuf.
Editing by John J. Catherine and Nadia Riva
(Additional reporting by Kurdistan 24 correspondent in Duhok Islam Yusuf)