Christian schools in northeast Syria ordered to teach self-administration curriculum or face closure

November 2022

A letter from the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria Department of Education, dated Oct. 24 and provided to a Christian school in Hasakah on Nov. 1, instructs the school they must begin teaching the self-administration’s curriculum, not the Syrian curriculum, or they will face closure.

A copy of the letter, dated Oct. 24 and issued to a Christian school in Hasakah, Syria on Nov. 1.

This ruling was issued against 23 Christian-led schools in northeast Syria, a Syriac Orthodox bishop said, totaling around 500 staff and over 20,000 Arab, Kurdish and Syriac (Assyrian) students.

Christians in the area say the self administration’s curriculum is not recognized and accepted by Syrian universities as well as many schools abroad.

Two years ago, a similar move was enacted on the schools by officials from the autonomous region. Some school doors were locked. A Syriac Orthodox bishop, alongside Christian organizations, at the time negotiated with the Department of Education under the condition to teach one course from the new curriculum.

“Everyone who has kids now will think of leaving the country because of this,” an Assyrian from Qamishli told the Journal.

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James Yohanna (@JamesYo80121624) December 7, 2022 at 7:56 pm

It sad to hear news of this kind, but since our population has been decreased, dramatically, I wonder what could we do? Such requests from the Kurdish officials are unfair. As a last resort, I recommend you to forward this matter to multiple international communities who might be able to help us. After all, since the so-called self-administration is not recognized by the Syrian universities, how could the Kurdish authorities demand such thing.
Thank you,
James Yohanna

James Yohanna December 7, 2022 at 8:02 pm

I am sorry to hear about the unfair demands of the Kurdish authorities. I would recommend you to submit a copy of this request to multiple international communities.
I admire your efforts, our Assyrian nation is in need of volunteers more than any other time.
James Yohanna

Mike K. December 29, 2022 at 10:25 pm

I’m saddened to hear of the Kurds’ demands. I’m a non-Assyrian myself, but I firmly believe in the right of the Assyrian people to live in their ancient homeland unmolested. Maybe it’s my bravado talking, but I would tell them to kick rocks. If they don’t like it, they can leave.

I don’t know why Assad has given them such leeway. It’s lead to all kinds of nonsense like this!


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