>> The fighting maybe over, but East Aleppo still feels like a war zone. The dead are never far away. Bodies still lie under the rubble, the graveyards are full. Residents don't have enough bread, let alone electricity. Seven months after the army drove rebels from their stronghold in the Syrian city, the state looks paper thin.
Most services seen by Reuters have been provided by local residents, or with help from international aid agencies, or Syrian charities. Some children take religious classes in local mosques, because their schools have been bombed out. Reuters correspondent Angus McDowall visited one of the few that's still standing. The number of children attending has doubled.
>> That's because in this part of East Aleppo, many of the schools were too badly damaged during the fighting to be able to continue to use. There's a summer program now which is paid for by international aid agencies. UNICEF and UNESCO, and others, in order to try to help students catch up during the summer for the term ahead.
>> The head teacher says during the fighting, the classrooms here became a detention center for the rebels. But it managed to avoid being destroyed. Officials say, less than a quarter of East Aleppo's 200 former schools are working.>> It shows how badly the educational infrastructure of this part of the country, this area that was held by rebels, bombarded by the government was damaged during the war.
And the huge challenges that will be needed to try to help students, help young people, help the children here to catch up with their studies.>> Before the war, Aleppo was Syria's most popular city and industrial engine Its rise from the ruins would not just be symbolic of President al-Assad's improving fortunes, but a sign that the Syrian state is capable of revival after years of weakness.
The city's limping recovery is symbol of the battered state's limits.