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Teachers, Parents Protest Kurdish Curriculum in Hassakeh Schools

Demonstrations denounce PYD efforts to impose Kurdish curriculum at the expense of Arab language study in the northern province, opposition website reports
Teachers, Parents Protest Kurdish Curriculum in Hassakeh Schools

Educators and the parents of Arab students gathered on Tuesday to protest the Democratic Union Party (PYD) imposing a Kurdish curriculum on schools in the Ghurayan neighborhood south of Hassakeh city.

According to pro-regime media sources, principal, administrative and teaching staff of 10 primary and elementary schools and a number of students’ parents carried out a sit-in in front of the mosque in the Ghurayan neighborhood in Hassakeh.

According to reports, the demonstrators came out to protest the Kurdish Asayish (security) militia closing the schools in the neighborhood and imposing the Kurdish Autonomous Administration’s curriculum in the schools.

The protestors raised banners denouncing the Kurdish curriculum and demanded the Arabic language curriculum be taught in the schools, also calling for the departure of the Kurdish militants from the Ghurayan neighborhood.

Local sources said that officials loyal to the Assad regime send their children to private Syriac schools affiliated to the church in the Nazareth neighborhood. Those schools follow the curriculum set forth by the Ministry of Education, while children from lower-income families and the rural population are forced to attend schools teaching the Kurdish-imposed curricula.

According to the sources, the PYD administration asked tribal figures and the Arab Tribal Council to negotiate with the teaching staff in the 10 schools in Ghurayan to avoid a direct clash between its members and the protesters. The neighborhood is known as a former resistance stronghold and was the last place in the Jazira region to lower the revolution flag in September 2014.

In related news, hundreds of students from Qamishli city held a sit-in early this month in front of the local United Nations building to protest the PYD’s decision to prevent private lessons and close down private educational institutions. The closures and restrictions come ahead of the PYD’s plan to introduce its curricula in secondary schools with the start of the next school year.

The regime and the PYD are both struggling to impose their ideologically saturated curricula on Syrian children and youths in the Jazira region. The PYD has tried to impose its Kurdish curriculum on schools in areas under its control while the regime continues to teach the Ministry of Education’s curriculum in the cities of Hassakeh, Qamishli and some surrounding villages.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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