Ebdo denied allegation on closure of Syriac schools

Salih Ebdo said that the allegations about the closure of Syriac and Christian schools were not true.

Muhammad Salih Ebdo, co-chair of the Democratic Autonomous Administration Education Council in the Jazira region, said that they stopped the work of 14 private schools in the past month because they were against the law based on the Rojava Social Contract. 

"These schools - said Ebdo - are not Syriac or Christian schools”. Ebdo added: “They were actually schools linked to the regime and intelligence and sponsored by a section of Syriacs, and their work has been stopped because they were actually teaching using the anti-democratic curriculum of the regime”.

The Syrian regime and the Turkish press have been reporting about Christians in Qamishlo allegedly on the streets to protest the Rojava Democratic Autonomous Administration. 

Muhammad Salih Ebdo, co-chair of the Democratic Autonomous Administration Education Council in the Jazira region, answered ANF questions about the reason for stopping some private schools before the start of the new school year and the provocation against the decision.

We know that the education of some private schools in Rojava has been stopped by the Democratic Autonomous Government for about a month. Do you have a law in this regard?

Yes, the Legislative Council adopted a law in 2016 based on the Social Contract approved by all sections of our society. There are some specific articles in this Social Contract about the private schools receiving the license from the education ministry. According to the law, schools that do not have a license must be closed within two months. Article 2 states: “We do not suppose that we use our own curriculum as a Democratic Autonomous Government in any private school, private schools should not use the Democratic Autonomous Government nor the Baath Regime's curriculum because these private schools should create their own curricula and use them in their education, not the regime's curriculum." .

Has this decision been implemented?

After this decision, many schools closed their doors and did not get a license. There are some schools that were opened under the name of Syriac and Armenian. We have had many discussions with them, we have made some alliances. But unfortunately they did not respect the alliances we did. The Syrians in Syria are members of the Syriac League and their institutions are part of the Democratic Autonomous Administration and these alliances.

Many Arab and Kurdish parties are also taking part in Democratic Autonomous Administration. This law came out with the approval of all these parties, the representatives of the people. All peoples have approved it. But some Christian churches did not accept this law. "We do not accept training outside the regime's curriculum," they said. But we have negotiated with them for 2 years. When we could not persuade them, we stopped these schools with our laws when we saw that this curriculum would not change.

How many schools are we talking about?

We stopped the work of 14 schools by court order. A month ago we have stopped the work in 1 school in Serekaniyê and Dirbesiyê, 4 schools in Hesekê, 6 in Qamishlo and 1 in Derik. These schools are not mainly Syriac schools. There is no training in the language of the Syriacs.

The training programs are organized only on behalf of some Syriac people, according to the curriculum of the regime. These schools are like a trading place for them. They make money by using them. They are teaching children for money. There is no paid education in the Democratic Autonomous Administration.

Why was the regime not supposed to be a curriculum?

The reason for stating that the regime's curriculum should not be used is based on the very core of the Regime's curriculum. It is based solely on their own ideas, i.e., the Ba'ath Party’s. Moreover, the regime curriculum does not accept other identities, cultures and ideas. "One nation, one language, one flag”, this is their creed. They won’t accept anything outside the mind of the Ba'ath Party.

But our Social Contract states exactly the opposite. According to the Social Contract and laws, we have adopted three official languages ​​in Syria: Arabic, Kurdish and Syriac. As Democratic Autonomous Administration, we have these three languages ​​in our world.

According to our laws Kurds can study in Kurdish, Arabs in Arabic and Assyrians in Syriac. On this basis we have prepared curricula in Kurdish, Arabic and Syriac all together. Of course this applies to our schools within the Democratic Autonomous Government.

For private schools, as it is said in the law, they should prepare their own curriculum but not the regime curriculum. Because the Regime's curriculum is completely according to the Baath Party mentality. it is not democratic. 

If the regime's educational program is used in these schools, is it a problem or a danger to the people?

We do not want the education programs to be according to us, all we want is a democratic education program. Because the regime's educational curriculum is based on hostility as their main mentality. They are trying to put people one against each other. They don’t want Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Turkmen to study using their own language. They want the only language of education in Syria to be Arabic.

As I have pointed out, this is an approach that makes peoples hostile to each other and put them one against the other. As Turkey wants children to repeat a nationalist slogan every morning thus the Ba’ath regime wants kids to state loyalty to the Ba'ath regime and Bashar al-Assad.