The Education Authority affiliated with the autonomous Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria announced that it was adopting three curricula at schools in its regions under their control.
One curriculum was devised by the autonomous authority and is being taught at schools in the Jazira and Euphrates regions and to refugees from the Afrin region who are at camps in the Aleppo countryside. The second curriculum is that of the official Syrian state and is being taught at schools in Manbij and its countryside and the nearby town of al-Arima.
The third curriculum was approved by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and is taught at the cities of Tabaqa, the Raqqa province and eastern Deir Ezzour region. These areas are controlled by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
This third curriculum was introduced after locals protested against the adoption of the autonomous region’s curriculum. They instead demanded the adoption of the UNICEF curriculum until a program that is approved by all Syrians can be adopted. They also urged against dragging the academic year into political and military disputes.
Head of the Education Authority, Rajab al-Mushref, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the three curricula will be implemented throughout all school levels, starting from kindergarten to grade 12.
Some 4 million books were handed out to schools and academic institutions, he said. Books from the UNICEF curriculum, estimated at about 1 million, have yet to be received by the authority.
Officials at UNICEF pledged to send the books at the beginning of the school year, he revealed. Teachers and staff have, meanwhile, been trained on the new curriculum, which is only adopted at times of crisis. It only covers four subjects: Math, science and Arabic and English language classes.
Some 825,000 students showed up for the first day of school amid strict health measures that have been imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, revealed Mushref
He also denied reports that the Kurdish authorities had suspended the school year due to the Syrian government’s insistence on imposing its curriculum.
“We had made an announcement that such reports were false,” he stated.
The withdrawal of regime forces from several parts of Kurdish regions allowed the autonomous authority to introduce its own curriculum that teaches Kurdish and Syriac alongside Arabic.
An academic official in al-Hasakeh revealed that 125,000 students had returned to school in regime-held regions. They will attend classes at 180 schools, while SDF-held regions boast 2,106 schools.