“Based on available reports, we are concerned that ISIL employs education as a tool of indoctrination, aiming propaganda at children to foster a new generation of recruits,” UNICEF Regional Chief of Communication for Middle East and North Africa Simon Ingram told Sputnik.
He added that the organization has no specific information about the two schools opened in the Syrian city of Raqqa.
UNICEF also expressed concern over the fact that children are increasingly being used in armed roles in the Syrian conflict.
“In the context of the Syrian crisis, children are increasingly being used in armed and combat roles. It is very important to highlight that all parties to the conflict are responsible for this grave violation against children,” UNICEF said.
Earlier in the day, anti-ISIL activist Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi from the Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently group said that the ISIL opened two English-language schools for the children of foreign fighters in Raqqa.
A leaflet, reportedly posted on a "school" building, says children will be able to learn math, religious studies, Islamic Law and English language among other subjects.
The ISIL, which has proclaimed a caliphate on swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, draws fighters from across the globe. According to UN estimates, some 15,000 foreign fighters, including many Europeans, have joined extremist groups in Syria since 2011.