Al Maaifa School served up to 250 students from different cities in the Western Mountain area and was especially known organizing cultural and social activities in the surrounding area.
"Prior to the conflcit in 2014, the school was one of the most successful schools in Kikla. It had an excellent teaching environment that included computer and science labs, as well as a fully equipped theater. In addition, it had the best teachers in the region and over the years, its students were on the first rank at the level of the region’’ said Sulaiman Qashish, director of Al Maaifa school.
In the wake of the conflict, the citizens were forced to flee and schools closed down. Two years later, people began to return to their homes, only to find them ransacked. Private properties weren’t the only casualties; public buildings were also devastated, robbed of their equipment and left with major structural damage.
"When we returned to school in 2016, we could not believe what we were seeing. The building was damaged, and all the equipment stolen or destroyed. We were very sad, " said Fatma. Despite these difficulties, the school rallied together and opened its door to students.
"The students' chairs were damaged. Three students were sitting on one. This was uncomfortable for them. The writing boards were worn and not good. It took time to clean them and this was having a negative impact on lesson time. In general, the environment was demotivating, for teachers as well as students’’, Fatma explained.
‘’There were 60 students in the first school year after the city reopened in 2016 because the rest of the students and their families could not return. There was still instability in the city and their homes were damaged,” Sulaiman added.