Refrain from Joining the Syrian Army Costs Sweida’s Teachers Their Jobs

The Head of the Education Directorate in Sweida (SANA)

The Head of the Education Directorate in Sweida (SANA)

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The flames of the war in Syria, sparing nothing of the life’s constituents, have also destroyed the field of education in Sweida, for teachers were dismissed for abstinence from performing the military service.

With the constant shortage of soldiers within the lines of the Syrian army and the persecutions conducted as to recruit the remaining segment of Syrian young men, the Ministry of Defense resorted to all available means to force all the targets to join the service.

On September 26, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers has issued a generalization, under which it decided to dismiss 185 teachers from the different Syrian governorates, as they have been evading the military service. The Sweida governorate had the largest share, for 67 teachers were dismissed.

To issue the generalization, the government resorted to the regulations of the Military Service Law, adopted by Decree No.30 for 2007, which has been modified by the Decree No.33 for 2014, especially Article No. 74.

The Article No. 74, under the 2014 Decree, states: “Penalties are to be imposed on workers who do not join the mandatory or reserve military service, and the workers in the public and joint sectors, who evade the mandatory military service after being summoned more than once and 30 days in case of reserve, will be dismissed from their employment, according to the decision of the Prime Minister based on the proposal of the Minister of Defense.”

Loyalty above Education

With the decision being issued as to dismiss 67 teachers from the governorate of Sweida, a few days ago, concerned entities and figures, in the field of education, considered that the regime prioritizes teaching the people about weapons and killing over education and generations’ building.

Safaa, a female teacher, at the Education Directorate in Sweida, told Enab Baladi that “the dismissed teachers are the elitist and the most competent. She believes that the decisions prefer the option of destruction and killing in the country instead of utilizing the competencies as to build generations away from the language of blood.”

These decisions are not new to the governorate after many teachers were dismissed since 2014, against the background of their political opinions, which reached the extent of depriving them of their salaries and entitlements, similar to what happened with Shadi Saab, one of the teachers who were dismissed four years ago.

Commenting on the new decision, Shadi wrote on his “Facebook” page, that “the corruption combating campaign started with dismissing 68 teachers from the Sweida Education Directorate, for they have been exposed as involving in theft operations of the schools’ chalk and participating in a universal conspiracy against the national chalk.”

These decisions affect, first of all, the class targeted in the society; the students, who are deprived of their lessons and teachers, a thing that promises to ruin their future.

Majd, a high school student in Sweida, told Enab Baladi that the majority of the students are resorting to private schools, because the dismissed teachers go to work for them, and among whom are a group of the best teachers in the governorate.

Majd added that the students are today afraid of the sudden decisions, “which might deprive the private education students from applying to the state’s universities or undertaking the high school exams with the students from the state’s schools, for example.”

Passive Teachers!

In Mid-September, the Ministry of Education, through a letter sent to the Directorate of Education in Sweida, has issued a statement, under which it confiscated the salaries of a number of teachers, based on security investigations which came up with results that stress their being against the regime.

Nashaat Salem Munther, one of the Sweida dismissed teachers, received the letter sent by the Ministry, which sated the following: “Pointing to the letter of the Ministry of Justice, which refers to the letter of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, including that the worker Munther is a (passive dissident). According to the letter Munther is not to receive any fiscal payments until the decision of his dismissal is issued.”

The incident created a wave of contempt and sarcasm among the people of the governorate, following the Syrian regime’s intransigence through the dismissal of employees and teachers against their political opinions and the oppression based on imposing the need to show loyalty on the different constituents of the Syrian people.

On his personal “Facebook” page, the journalist Ausama Abu Dikar, wrote a comment on the dismissal of the teacher Munther, saying: “The problem lies not in the accusation as it is a medal he is awarded from corrupt [personalities] who ruined education and curricula, and destroyed the minds of generations, but the problem lies in the message which confirms that through seven years of destruction and war they have not learned and would not learn anything.”

Munther works in the Department of Curricula under the Education Directorate, and he is not the only teachers deprived of his profession or salary, for the decisions have targeted many people. The number of people required to perform the mandatory military service in the governorate of Sweida is about 50 thousand people, including those demanded to join mandatory or reserve service and dissidents, at a time where the governorate’s people refuse to get involved in the Syrian war considering it “a war for the sake of positions and influence.”

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