Controversiality around SDF’s educational programme

This week, the Syrian Democratic Council, which is the political wing of SDF, has announced the new curriculum that will be taught in their occupied areas. Teachers and parents in different Arab-majority areas, like Deir ez-Zor and Raqqah have protested against the curriculum.

The self-proclaimed Autonomous Administration has problems introducing its secular education program in Deir-ez-Zor.

Conservative local channels and tribal outlets, including some pro-jihadi channels, are sharing screenshots of the textbooks, angry at the inclusion of fighting for women’s rights, the teachings of Abdullah Ocalan’s ideology, and religions other than Islam.

“We categorically reject the curriculum AANES wants to impose… because it does not correlate to our faith, customs and traditions,” one message reads. In a video, hundreds of civilians can be seen as they reject and protest the curriculum in one of Deir ez-Zor’s offices.

Omar Abu Layla, a local Syrian expert on governance dynamics has explained the rejection. He states:

” The new curriculum issued by the SDF administration in Deir Ezzor was rejected categorically for several reasons:

– It tries to blur the history of the province and imposes agendas from other regions

– The curricula oppose the values and customs of society

– The absolute stupidity of those who developed these curricula, as they do not know the region”

He urges that no local or international party can reapply its experiences in Deir Ezzor, as it’s totally different from any other area in Syria, and all the attempts to dye it with the colours of other areas will absolutely fail.

Not only are the locals afraid that the curriculum taught to their children does not meet their culture and values, the curriculum might not be sufficient to get the future generation accepted into Syrian government-controlled universities, as the level is lower than education in government-run areas.

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