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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