The past two months have witnessed increased appearances of Tahrir al-Sham’s (HTS) leader, Abu Mohammed al-Joulani, in the Idleb governorate, as part of several activities honoring the group’s leaders. This comes in conjunction with a wave of sit-ins protests across the Idleb governorate by teachers, who have gone on strike in more than 100 schools.
On Saturday, Joulani and several HTS military leaders attended a ceremony to honor the first graduates of a military course for training brigade leaders. The graduates come from the HTS group’s military academy, which is deployed in the western Aleppo countryside, Idleb governorate, and parts of Hama and Lattakia governorates.
The ceremony comes as teachers continue to strike for the 15th consecutive day in more than 100 schools in the Idleb governorate. For several years, they have worked without pay, amid the complete marginalization of their work by those responsible for education.
In an exclusive statement to Baladi News, the director of al-Bashiriya High School in Jisr al-Shughour school in the western Idleb countryside, Talal Abdul Hay, said that more than 100 schools—the largest of which are in the Jisr al-Shughour school—have closed their doors, announcing a strike at the end of the first semester exams.
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Abdul Hay added that they chose this moment for the strike in order to find appropriate solutions by those in charge of the region’s educational process including the Syrian Salvation Government (SSG) and SSG’s ministry of education, as well as the Directorate of Education. However, their demands went unheeded.
Abdul Hay said that the second semester began on Saturday, and there are about 100 schools in all schools in the Idleb governorate that are closed. There are plans afoot to increase the number of schools participating in the strike.
Joulani’s recent appearance preceded his visit to camps for displaced people north of Idleb, during which he pledged to allocate $1 million to support 50,000 low-income families.
At the beginning of the year, Joulani—accompanied by SSG head Ali Keda—opened the Bab al-Hawa Aleppo road, backed by an estimated budget of about $2 million.
Joulani concluded last year by attending the graduation of the military brigade fighters in the military academy on December 20th, 2021.
Previously, on November 23rd, 2021, Joulani appeared at a meeting sponsored by the Shura Council with the SSG’s Ministry of Economy to discuss the economic situation, with a special focus on the bread crisis in northern Syria.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.