SDF militias willfully obstruct access to schools in the Governorate of Hasaka

The US-backed SDF militias seized most of the governorate of Hassakeh’s schools.  They  willfully obstruct access to the Syrian government schools in the cities of Hasaka and Qamishly.

Three weeks after the start of the new school year, the SDF militias put more pressure on school’s teachers, administrative staff and students – making it more difficult for them to reach their schools in the security squares in the cities of Hasaka and Qamishly.

On September 15, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said that the SDF worked to “gradually stop education in schools and impose a different educational curricula without giving any consideration to their quality, content and suitability for the age stages and the cultural and social environment.”

The ministry said that the SDF's approach aims at disseminating  ignorance and illiteracy through intimidation and denial of the basic requirements for the realization of this right, threatening the future of thousands of children and youth.

Local sources in the city of Hasaka said to Syria Times that the SDF militias “by force of arms”  seized 2,285 schools in Hasaka city, the last of which were 118 schools before the start of this school year on September 13, leaving 179 schools run by the Education Directorate in Hasaka for all educational levels.

“The SDF’s measures increased the numbers of students and overcrowding in the classrooms. My classroom filled with more than 75 students,” Ahmed, a 45-year-old teacher in the city of Hasaka said to Syria Times.

“The Ministry of Health called for spatial distancing as a measure to address Coronavirus epidemic.  The SDF militias have seized our schools which has limited the ability to have more classrooms for the students,” teacher Ahmed said.

The SDF militias practice all kinds of pressure and crackdown on the Syrian governmental teachers, students and even transportation of school books.

 “The Syrian government is working hard to ensure the success of the educational process in the governorate of Hasaka.  The Ministry of Education by air freight transports the school books from Damascus to the Qamishly Airport. Then,  we distribute them to each school and home schools in Hasaka, Qamishly and Tal Hamis where the governmental schools are located,” Ahmed Dahmish, the Director of School Books of Hasaka stated.

This school year , the Directorate of Education in the governorate of Hasaka only runs 179 schools- last year there were 407 schools,  for 125000 students of  all educational levels. The SDF militias’ crackdown deprives about 100,000 students from education in violation of education rights guaranteed by international laws.

Head of the Education Directorate in Hasaka  Ilham Sorkhan stated   that the directorate took a  number of measures to face the SDF militias’ tightening grasp by making  a second shift in public and private schools, increasing classroom capacity, converting some government buildings into educational complexes and expanding the establishment of premade  classrooms

Sorkhan said that the owners of private institutes are granted temporary licenses to teach students the Syrian governmental curriculum in addition to supporting the 56- home- schools which accommodate about 6 thousand students.


The students and their families expressed their rage and anger at the SDF militias’ tightening grasp and crackdown measures on the Syrian governmental schools and education process.

 “Every day of school is a hard day because my little daughters have to walk for half an hour with me to reach their school. Other parents and myself tried many times to hire a school bus to drive our little sons and daughters but the SDF militias don’t allow any bus to reach any governmental school in the city of Hasaka,” Um Bashar, a 30-year-old mother of two daughters who go to a governmental school in the city of Hasaka told Syria Times.

 “A driver told me that the SDF checkpoints took his ID and threatened him with arrest and buss seizure if he drives students to a governmental school,” Um Bashar added.

In the SDF-occupied northeast Syria, there are two curricula , the Syrian government curriculum in Minbij and its villages , eastern Aleppo, and the Kurdish/ Idara Thatia ( Self-Administration) curriculum in the governorate of Hasaka. Some say there is a third curriculum which is printed by the UNICEF and distributed in the governorate of Raqqa. The Syrian Arab citizens expressed their strong rejection in accepting to teach their sons and daughters in the SDF/ Idara Thatia schools using the Kurdish curriculum. 

 “The Syrian Arab families in the governate of Raqqa , Dei Ezzur Hasaka want their sons and daughters to study using Syrian governmental school books and  curriculum to get official certificates and degrees that would allow them to continue their studies later in governmental universities. No one in the world recognizes the Kurdish/ Idara Thatia curriculum which promotes the communist ideologies of Abdullah Ocalan. The Kurdish SDF militias changed all Arabic names of villages, towns and schools, giving them Kurdish names. They also want to produce the Kurdish school books and curricula for Arab students,” Abu Muthana, a 50-year-old father of three sons who are studying in a private institute in the city of Raqqa and refused to go to the Idara Thatia-run schools.


“I don’t want my sons to waste their school years studying Kurdish school books and curriculum and get no governmental certificates,” Abu Muthana said to Syria Times.

The US-backed SDF/ Idarat Thatia took and is still taking crackdown measures and tightening their grasp on the Syrian governmental education process and curriculum to make them Kurdish.


Reported by: Obaida Hamad/ Inas Abdulkareem