(VoA) – Children in a Syrian town freed in August from the Islamic State militants are back in their regular classrooms after a near three-year absence. “I’m really grateful to see children back in their seats,” said Ahmed Hassan, a teacher at one of the elementary schools that reopened its doors in the northern town of Manbij. When IS invaded in 2014, it took over schools, using them at first as military headquarters. “They shut down all schools here,” said Aqeel Hajji Mohammed, 17, a student. “They banned teachers and students from attending schools.”