Education in Hasakah; teachers spreading PYD ideology and spies among students

Two pages of history book imposed by PYD on the ninth grade in its held areas

The educational situation in Syria is getting worse every day since the country have been divided between several sides, each side force its own curriculum supporting its ideology in its held areas to raise a new generation follow the ideology of its side.

In PYD-led “Self-Autonomous Administration” the situation is not much better, for 3 years it printed new curriculum for elementary and middle school and forced it in all its held areas in north and northeast Syria.

However, many locals doesn’t consider this a big problem compared to ideology fed to students and teachers as well, but the two biggest problems are the process to choose teachers who must be supporters of PYD ideology or neutral but not opponents and the second problem is that a large number of teachers become “informers” for the PYD intelligence for extra money.

NSO reporter in al-Jazira tried to uncover more details and visited the “Board of Education and several schools but faced several difficulties in talking to teachers who were afraid to talk, however, the teachers who accepted to talk asked to stay anonymous so NSO will hide their names and replace it with pseudonyms.

Ideology classes for teachers before students 

Before the teachers start teaching they attend classes talking about the ideology and the achievements of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, and how this ideology should be used in teaching, teachers also taught the “domestic defense” which is considered a military training taught in “academies” in PYD-held areas such as “Aziz Arab Academy” in Hasakah which was founded to build an ideological and cultural base for teachers according to what PYD supporters say.

Teacher “Ramez” talked to NSO about his experience in “Aziz Arab Academy” and said when he entered it last year he was with around 30 teachers who have university degrees and high school diplomas. 

Ramez added “we were lectured by an old man who’s pseudonym was “Jahed” who kept saying he is a close friend to Ocalan, “Jahed” used to come in everyday with a different car and many body guards and talked to us about the great principles of the party and the sacrifices it made to reach the democratic nation and how we should carry on these sacrifices to the younger generation”

Ramez continue to talk to the reporter on Ocalan and the his picture as someone who made a great impact on the world or a prophet and how they were told to pass it to the students, adding that many of his colleagues were convinced of this.

But three other teachers told the reporter that whatever happens in the “academy” doesn’t change their minds as they attended the course but felt nothing.

Another teacher called “Emad” was known among his friends to be a conservative Muslim who always argued and talked with them about what he believed in but he changed completely after he attended that course in the academy.

One of his friends tells how Emad’s sole purpose now is talking to people about the great principles of PYD which aim to free people from injustice but when asked by his friends that he was against these ideas he replies that “he didn’t understand the full truth”.

Another example uncovered by the reporter is a teacher from a well-known conservative tribe who force women to wear headscarf became free of all these ideas and described himself as an open-minded person and was rewarded by appointing his sister as a teacher who removed headscarf immediately.

Teachers or informers?

After the teachers’ course end, the teacher are offered secret jobs by PYD intelligence, Ramez said he was offered to be an informant and lured him with extra salary and a position in the Educational Committee and told him he can use his influence to hire his relatives but he declined under the pretext that he is not capable to it.

Jameel is another teacher who told similar story to “Ramez” and said he was contacted by a person working with PYD intelligence called “Salem” who is active in al-Yaroubye area in Hasakah, Salem offers teachers to work with him and gives them a special card and extra salary to talk to students and ask about their families’ political ideology and opinions of the PYD which what Jameel considers a morale crime.

Another 4 teachers also said they were offered these jobs but refused adding that the teachers who accepted this are exposed, when asked about why PYD offer them to work as informants they replied that PYD wants to control the new generations of students and force its ideology on them so it needs followers to help in this process.

“Self-Autonomous Administration” curriculum in the area

4 years ago, PYD-led Self-Autonomous Administration printed a special curriculum in its held areas which wasn’t approved by the locals not only because it forces a national diverse but because it was written by students who barely graduated from universities.

The tension continued when Board of Education cancelled the educational records for the elementary schools students and forced them to issue new papers and records and it replaced the old records of the Assad regime Ministry of Education.

PYD-led Self-Autonomous Administration imposed its curriculum by force after closing all schools which refused it like Ghweiran school and Marimin school in Aleppo northern countryside so all schools in its held areas are teaching its curriculum except regime-held pockets in Qamishli and Hasakah, in July 2017 it also issued a decree and banned all teaching institutions in Hasaka city and its countryside.

The locals consider this a step in its dominance on educational system by controlling all schools and the new curriculum it will print in this summer.

Therefore, teachers in Ghweiran and Nashwe neighborhoods in Hasaka city protested against the new curriculum and demanded the schools will be controlled by another legit side like Assad regime but the PYD arrested teachers and schools’ managers and forced them to sign papers to not protest again.

Khaled is a middle school teacher with 20 years experience told NSO “writing the new curriculum is not an easy thing, it needs special authors who have high degrees and of course the curriculum is not written by one person but by a group of academics”

Khaled continue “when I saw the authors of the new curriculum I read names like Talal al-Mashref, Riad al-Mashref, Bashar al-Falah and Moufaq al-Herbid and those are young men between 25-30 who graduated in the past 7 years and allowing them to write the curriculum affects the students badly”

Another teacher “Rasheed” thinks that a whole new generation is about to be destroyed not only because of the bad curriculum but because the certificates given by the Self-Autonomous Administration for students are not legit or recognized inside or outside Syria which is a systematic plan by PYD to keep the whole generation away from the education and push it to join the PYD-affiliated armed groups.

Nimr al-Shemari

 from al-Qamishli graduated from Damascus University faculty of journalism


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