SANAA: The youth minister in war-torn Yemen’s rebel government on Friday proposed suspending school classes for a year and sending pupils and teachers to the front, reports AFP.
Hassan Zaid, minister for youth and sports in an administration set up by Iran-backed Huthi rebels and not internationally recognised, suggested pupils and teachers could be armed.
“Wouldn’t we be able to reinforce the ranks with hundreds of thousands (of fighters) and win the battle?” he wrote on Facebook.
Yemen has been devastated by a war between the Huthis, who control the capital Sanaa, and the internationally-recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.
A teachers’ strike in rebel territory, in protest at salaries going unpaid for around a year, delayed the start of the school year by two weeks. When they did open on Sunday, classrooms were largely empty. Social media users responded angrily to the minister’s post.
“What if we let the students study and sent the ministers and their bodyguards to the front?” one wrote. “That would give us victory and a prosperous future.”