Watch part two    Part three   Part four

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to education.

In pictures

Lessons in conflict

Lessons in conflict

"Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms."

But in areas like Gaza, Afghanistan and Iraq those rights are difficult to uphold.

Surrounded by conflict and violence on a daily basis the ability of children to continue to study, pass exams and secure a future is severely hampered.

War takes away lives, dignity and opportunities. Roughly half the 77 million children in the world who do not attend school are estimated to live in countries affected by war.

Sixty years on from the establishment of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Al Jazeera visited three conflict zones to examine the daily difficulties and threats that face schoolchildren, university students, their teachers and their families.

Gaza -


In Gaza doctors report that 90 per cent of children under 11 reveal physical signs of stress, caused by conflict and an ongoing blockade.

For students at the Al Maari school, just outside the town of Khan Younis, raids by Israeli soldiers and rocket attacks are as commonplace as exams and playtime.




Education has been central to a war over values that has characterised years of conflict.

Forces opposed to the idea of broad education bomb schools and  murder both children and teachers.

Despite the violence, schools in the country are seen as making progress.




In Iraq more than 300 academics have been murdered since the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, and more than 10,000 teachers have fled abroad.

Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad dates back to the 13th century. But a horrific bombing in 2007 and falling education levels mean the school is facing its most testing times yet.


Life in the war zone

Hala, Gaza


Torpekai, Kabul


Sabah, Baghdad


Source: Al Jazeera