Education In Western Deir Ezzor Under The Shade Of Poverty



A series of articles shed light on the situation of education in Deir Ezzor.

The DeirEzzor24 network will publish a series of articles highlighting the reality of education in the region.

Deir Ezzor, both areas controlled by Syria’s Democratic Forces, or areas controlled by the Assad regime and Iranian militias.

An introduction:

The words of Umm Omar from western Deir Ezzor describe the suffering of her children in education; the complex reality experienced by parents and students in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor by saying:

«My children stopped their studies in the year of 2013. Cham was in the first grade, and Omar was in the third grade. The schools were shut down due to the eruption of war in the region. In the beginning of the year 2018, the schools were reopened and my children and thousands of their peers returned to them.

At this time the dilemma started, as my son Omar became  eighth grade preparatory, and Sham in the sixth grade, according to their age and management considerations, important stages absent from them have been very difficult task for my children, and their transition from the first grades in the primary stage to advanced stages without acquiring the necessary information made Children live in a state of confusion and disorder.

We were forced to hire teachers to teach them at home for the correction of what they had missed in the previous stages. The pressure on us as parents increased because of the financial cost and psychological pressure that accompanies their education.

Omar and Shammam may have had good luck with their families’ awareness of their education, unlike dozens or even hundreds of children whose parents had chosen to drop them out of school or not because they did not have the necessary awareness of the danger of ignorance and illiteracy.

– Education is coming back to the villages of the Western Euphrates area

Schools in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor have been closed since the end of 2012 for several reasons, including the systematic bombing of the Assad aircraft, which had no distinction between school, home, plant and agricultural land, and some of these schools turned into shelters for the displaced from the frontlines near the western countryside. Added to this is the intrusive thought of the Deir Ezzor society, which was carried out by the extremist organizations represented by the Nusra Front and the Daesh organization, where it fought education and it was a priority to plant ignorance and push society to follow their teachings and curriculum. With the demise of Daesh in late 2017, schools have returned to receive students despite the challenges imposed on the educational reality.

– Absence of qualified school construction and curriculum

The long break, the closure of schools for years, and the shelling of some educational facilities, behind school buildings that lack the lowest services, in the village of “Azghir” island, which is located on the northern bank of the Euphrates River in the western village of Deir Ezzor, controlled by the Syrian Democratic forces ” Five schools, four of which reopened after the long closure, says one of the teachers of the village preferred not to reveal himself. “The reality of education in the village of Zghir is a largely unstable, and there are great difficulties in the face of education. Availability of classrooms, lack of m School systems for doors and windows and water”

He adds:

“There are no dedicated teaching methods. Teachers rely on the old curriculum of the Assad regime to run the lessons. There is a good number of non-specialist teachers, in other words, they are not teachers at all, but they are motivated by the need to work for education for salary.”

Q: What did the SDF provide for education in the west of the Deir Ezzor?

The Syrian Democratic Forces are considered the “de facto” ruler of the western countryside of Deir Ezzor in the current stage and the direct leader of the community. The education did get the attention desired by the SDF, which formed the so-called “Education Committee” within the local council of Deir Ezzor, which was established earlier this year. On  the primitive stage due to lack of attention and lack of development plans and modernization by officials, the teacher says: «Measures restricted to education to subject teachers to a two-month summer course for teaching, which included a session of thought for 10 days included the ideas of the founders of the PKK and Foundations included in the Kurdish issue. »

– Poverty and ignorance are weapons that threaten entire generations in the west of Deir Ezzor

Some of the rural villages of Deir Ezzor in the west are among the poorest villages in the province, many of which are classified as under the poverty line. UNICEF has taken measures in many of these villages since 2000 to protect children from the danger of ignorance and illiteracy through a relief project The war led to the cessation of the UN project, and thus the return of things to normal and worse by adding harsh conditions imposed by the war on the people living near the poverty line, Making child labor rampant Communities of the center of these villages, which threatens thousands of children of ignorance and illiteracy did not take effective measures to avoid this danger.

– Civil society organizations active in the western countryside

Many civil society organizations are active in the rural villages of Deir Ezzor, because they are close to the governorate of Raqqa, which is the center of SDF forces that control the area. The reality of education in the countryside and the activities of the “start”, says:

“The education situation in the region is very bad. There is no qualified teaching staff. There is no sound infrastructure. There are no schools in the area.

The activities of Bidayah organization include:

“Our organization provides literacy activities in addition to a psychosocial support program for children in Abu Khashab camp in the northern western village of Deir Ezzor. It also provides psychosocial support to some schools near Abu Khashab camp, as well as a community psychosocial support program for the residents of Abu Khashab camp.”

Conclusion The reality of education in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor is very different from the conditions of education in the eastern countryside, which are under the control of the SDF. However, it is still better that education has returned after a few years of stagnation. These challenges, which impose themselves on reality, will not produce the desired results, making the possibility of widening ignorance and illiteracy greater than contraction.

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