A week after the start of the school year, schools in regime-controlled areas are witnessing more dropouts of school. This is nurtured by the deteriorating economic situation in the country, in addition to the inability of parents to meet the demands of teachers in violation of the decisions of the regime’s Ministry of Education.
Civil sources from Damascus told Syria TV that teachers asked students for a notebook for each subject, which contravenes the decision of the Minister of Education, and the parent’s financial ability to provide all the requirements of their children.
Amid all this, students received used and torn books, and school administrations forced them to pay to support school activities from the beginning of the school year.
The pro-regime Al-Watan newspaper estimates that 3.7 million students are returning to school this year. However, Syria TV sources say that several parents have refrained from sending some of their children to school, especially those over the age of 15, due to the deteriorating living and economic situation.
Speaking to Syria TV, Hassan, 46, a worker in a sanitary installation workshop and a father of five, preferred to take his eldest son out of education and keep him in the workshop to learn a practice that would benefit him in the future and, in return, reduce school expenses, he said. “My son has no desire to pursue his education, and he succeeded with difficulty in the ninth grade, and my financial situation is bad. Otherwise, I would not have left him without an education,” Hassan said.
Suhail, a 51-year-old civil servant, also decided to postpone sending his tenth-grader son to his school so that he could finish his job or find another job for him after school. The boy works in an evening restaurant until one o’clock at night.
Suhail told the website that without his son’s help with the expenses of the house, he would not have been able to secure food and drink. He explained that most of his children’s school supplies were from charity donations.
A notebook for each subject in Syrian schools
Teachers demand more than the decision of the Minister of Education for the study requirements of each student. Nawal Fathy, 44, a mother of three students in the tenth, ninth and sixth grades, told Syria TV, “After I bought my children’s supplies of notebooks and stationery, two days after their school, they started asking me for a notebook for each subject and a stationery box for each of them, as well as regular uniforms.”
Fathy explains that if she wants to buy full school supplies for her three sons, she needs about one million Syrian pounds.
Although the regime’s Minister of Education, Darem Tabbaa, has set a minimum of requirements for school stationery for each student in each of the classes, teachers in the regime’s schools are asking students to allocate a notebook for each subject, according to several parents of students interviewed by Syria TV.
The minimum allocated by the education system is three books per high school student. A foreign language book, a sketchbook, colours and six books– including foreign language and drawing books– a colour box and a drawing box are required for each basic education student (second cycle).
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.