Laura Cesaretti

Freelance Journalist, Middle East and South Asia

The future of Syria is found at a school in Turkey

Feb
19
Mardin, Turkey. 8am. Almost 300 students from first to ninth grade are entering a newly constructed building, set up by the Turkish and Kuwaiti Ngo Uluslararasi Şefkat Derneği (The International Association of Compassion). In the director’s office, the flag adopted by the Syrian National Coalition and the Turkish Al bayrak (the red flag) with its white crescent moon are lying on the desk.

“The curriculum is the same as the old Syrian one,” explains Khaled Abu Tarek, the school director and former Imam of Omar Alfaruk mosque in Aleppo. “But we have introduced some changes.”

Like, for example, the introduction of Syrian historical figures long banned from the books studied under the Baath regime, who took power with a coup in 1968.

Changes, however, are not just concerning the didactics, but especially the teaching methods.

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War-torn Education

Feb
19

Majalla, April 14 2014

The Syrian education system is being attacked on many fronts. The first onslaught was the loss of life and displacement of students and teachers. Those who remained in the war zones saw the destruction of schools; the classrooms that still stand are often used as barracks, or even prisons. Lessons, where possible, are cobbled together in “bunker schools” in underground concrete cells or the homes of teachers, who go to great lengths to prevent an illiterate generation.

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