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Daraa children suffer deteriorating education process

Features | 2018-01-27 18:29:00
Daraa children suffer deteriorating education process

(Zaman Al Wasl)- Daraa province celebrated the erasure of illiteracy among the 15-45 age group in 2009, but after the Syrian revolution began, the schools on whose walls the first slogans of freedom were written, became a threat to the lives of children and targets for the military machine. The regime destroyed many of the schools and others become detention and torture centers detention, forcing parents to stop their children from going to school for fear for their lives. As a result, the level of education and literacy has decreased and a generation of illiterate people has been created.

Among the schools destroyed by explosive barrels, and the various curricula hastily implemented, students’ dreams of completing their education were lost. The issue was further complicated due to the presence of several different curricula for students in the province. The first issued by the Syrian Interim Government, the second issued by the al-Assad regime, and the third by the Islamic State in the Yarmouk Basin.

Bashir Hamad, a teacher, told Zaman al-Wasl, “I am very sad about the education situation in Daraa. Students in liberated areas are being taught in tents, caves or deep valleys for fear from bombs and [explosive] barrels, while their peers in the Islamic State controlled areas are forced to go the State’s education centers that spread extremism and terrorism, and in areas controlled by al-Assad, all the curriculum glorifies the leader and praises his victories over the defenseless people.”

“Our children's schools are supposed to be free and fair, and not be witness to the death, blood and scattered body parts everywhere, and this is all thanks to the world letting us down and remaining silent about the war crimes committed against Syrians,” Hamad said.

For her part, Nariman al-Jahmani, a psychologist and the supervisor of the psychosocial support services provided at Bathra (Seed) Foundation, stressed that the existence of different educational systems and curricula in one area has “a negative and catastrophic effect on society in general and children in particular, because it spreads educational chaos, is distractive, causes a loss of confidence in the education system, and increases conservativism in society.”

Al-Jahmani warned that this issue will increase the number of children dropping out of school and increases crime rate. She added that the war affects children greatly, and it has increased the types of mental illnesses suffered (isolation, autism, aggression, projection and post-traumatic stress disorder) and the number of children suffering from these issues.

Director of Education in the Syrian Interim government, Mohammed al-Wadi did not hide the difficulties the Directorate is facing due to the conditions. He explained that the conditions of the war reflect negatively on the education outcomes in general.

“In the liberated areas, the same curriculum is taught as in the regime schools with a slight difference, which is the deletion of the paragraphs and lessons that glorify the [Baath] party and the president. In addition to replacing the fake dates included in the regime’s books with actual dates,” al-Wadi said in an exclusive statement to Zaman al-Wasl. 

“The Islamic State schools are closed and there is no education except for (Sharia sciences) which are imposed on children and adults alike,” he added. 

Al-Wadi stressed that a unified curriculum will be adopted that is free of falsification and relies on the latest teaching methods that are appropriate for developing students’ knowledge in the event the main obstacle disappears which is the fall of the regime in all its forms and symbols.

Al-Wadi pointed out that the current situation in the province has resulted in a large disparity in the number of schools and the number of students attending schools. In Daraa and its villages, the regime has 400 schools with 42,000 male and 38000 female students. The Interim government has 70 schools, with 4293 male and 4131 female students. While 175 male and 125 female students are attending Islamic State schools.

Regarding the issue of countries recognizing high school diplomas, al-Wadi said “The [Interim] government has exerted great efforts to get the certificates issued by it recognized. Since 2014, it has been communicating with a number of countries, and its efforts culminated in recognition of the diplomas issued by it by some countries including, Turkey, Germany, France and Malaysia.” He stressed that efforts are continuing to obtain full international recognition.
Al-Wadi concluded by addressing the difficulties the Syrian interim government schools are experiencing. He explained that they lack financial support. There is a great shortage of books and stationery. There is a lack of heating equipment in schools and the schools require rehabilitation. He added that teachers are working voluntarily and they receive no support or pay that will enable them live a dignified life.
Zamana Al Wasl
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