Students attend classes after the city was recaptured from the Islamic State militants in Qayyara, Iraq, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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The school walls have a fresh coat of paint and classrooms are crammed, but it will take longer to undo the damage done to thousands of Iraqi children who lived under Daesh (ISIS) for more than two years. Although the school term began officially in September, only this week have pupils in the northern town of Qayyarah been reissued with standard Iraqi textbooks, which the militants replaced with their own in an attempt to brainwash a generation.Daesh was driven from the town three months ago in the early stages of a campaign to recapture the city of Mosul, which lies about 60 km to the north and is now under assault by Iraqi security forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition.As a result, most children have been set back by two grades, and since some teachers have been displaced by the violence, there is only one teacher for roughly every 80 pupils at the girls' school in Qayyarah.Missing from the classroom in the girls' school are dozens of pupils whose male relatives were associated with Daesh and are no longer welcome in Qayyarah.
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