Deir Ezzor – Sound and Picture
Khalaf is an eight-years-old boy, He couldn’t go to school yet as IS stopped learning process in the province of Deir Ezzor more than a year ago.
This child’s case is no different from the case of thousands of children in Deir Ezzor province and other areas dominated by IS. IS has stopped the education of all kinds, public and private, and even private lessons, and forced all teachers to undergo “repentance” courses and put a new curriculum to be given in its schools.
IS procedures, according to opposition activists, will cause “a destruction of an entire generation and increase ignorance and extremism among children,” especially since the objectives of IS are clear through educational programs and meant to attract children and young people to join its ranks and fights.
Public and private schooling banned by IS
Since the control of IS over Deir Ezzor province late in July of 2014. IS prevented learning and closed up schools, on the grounds that these schools teach “unreligious approaches.”
Activist Ghareeb Al-Umawi said to “Sound and Picture”: “IS, at the beginning of its control of Deir Ezzor, closed all of schools and accused all teachers and instructors who work in them to be apostates and have to ask for repentance”.
Teaching forbidding decisions included private institutes which people created as an alternative to public schools, but soon IS also closed them and arrested those who created them.
Omar, an owner of a private teaching institute in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor, said: “I established an institute to teach the preparatory and high school student in order not to deprive them of their future education. However a patrol belongs to IS raided the Institute and closed it under the pretext of that it’s not licensed by IS. Subsequently I was detained for several days and released”.
Omar also pointed out that IS prevented private lessons provided by teachers in homes, arrested and punished many of them in various ways and forced them to undergo Sharia course at one of IS institutes.
Thousands of teachers and hundreds of schools are out of service
In Deir Ezzor, there are about 1200 Schools for all academic levels, 1000 of which are ready to take students while 200 schools are not, either because of destruction as a result of bombing or because they are full of displaced people from Deir Ezzor. In addition to dozens of private institutes.
The teaching staff in the province is estimated to be about 10,000 official teachers and 7,500 deputy teachers of all specialties, all ground to a halt for work because of IS’ decisions.
Sharia courses and special curriculum
Due to IS’ claim that the curriculum which was being provided by schools violates the Islamic law, IS issued its own curriculum, and imposed repentance courses on all teachers in areas under its control.
The new curriculum content matches IS laws and legislation that focus on urging children to join Jihad and learn martial arts, in order to push them later to join its ranks.
The main subjects in IS curriculum of primary and high levels are:
– Tawheed, which is composed of 179 pages, It is a religious message written by Mohamed Abdul Wahab, one of the Arabian Peninsula Islamic experts. The book talks about the three assets of consolidation.
– Arabic language, which is composed of 30 pages and includes an explanation of the Ebn Malek Alfiya.
– Mathematics, which is composed of 64 pages.
– Physics and chemistry, which is composed of 25 pages.
– Natural Sciences, which is composed of 37 pages.
IS curriculum does not contain English language, philosophy, fine arts, and others, and it is focused only to serve the objectives of “extremist mentality,” according to some observers.
IS imposed earlier repentance courses on all teaching staff, both men and women, also canceled Saturday holiday, and kept Friday holiday only.
Activist Zaid Fourati said to “Sound and Picture”: “IS prepared centers in different parts of Deir Ezzor, and sent for teachers to undergo Sharia courses for 45 days. At the end of the course there will be a test and who pass it will be allowed to be part of the educational process in schools while who doesn’t will have to join a new cycle or they will be prevented from teaching in IS-controlled areas “
Fourati also said “all of the repentance courses has ended and curriculum has been put, but the educational process has not started yet.”
A whole generation suffers serious deprivation
Lack of education and the imposition of IS curriculum will have a negative impact on a whole generation of children. there are many children in Deir Ezzor didn’t learn to read because they did not have the opportunity to go to schools.
Ahmed, a principal of a school in Deir Ezzor, said that “the lack of education lead up to an increase of children numbers in IS ranks, which means ” a generation of religious extremist”, I’m concern about the inability of teachers to deal with this generation in the future”.
Omar, a young man who wanted to study medicine, but after losing hope of returning to his school in the city of Almayadeen, he chose to join IS and killed himself later in a suicide bombing in Iraq few months ago.