“Dump it in the trash,” an official, using an Arabic popular phrase expressing the least care in something, at the Syrian regime’s Directorate of Education in Daraa governorate told a number of graduate students, who tried to enquire about the destiny of the diplomas they are awarded by the Syrian Interim Government.
Many students in Daraa governorate, Southern Syria, who for the past years have been studying at the schools and universities of the Syrian Interim Government, in the shadow of the armed factions’ control of the area, are suffering from the Syrian regime’s nonrecognition of their diplomas.
The suffering started after the Assad’s forces managed to control the two governorates of Daraa and Quneitra under a settlement deal in July 2018.
The students, then, started to present their high school and university diplomas to continue their education and issue a deferment of military service, but they were socked by the regime’s refusal of all the diplomas issued by the opposition’s educational establishments, student Mohammad Omar, 22 years old, told Enab Baladi.
Opposition’s Universities Closed Down
The establishment of universities in Daraa started in 2014 as to accommodate students and find solutions for the hundreds of students who stopped or were dismissed for absence, on security and political grounds, from the Syrian universities, which the administration of the Syrian regime controls, according to the human rights activist Ahmad al-Ammar.
Al-Ammar, informed of the foundation of Daraa’s universities, told Enab Baladi that the Interim Government has established five colleges in Daraa: Education, electrical engineering, agricultural engineering, pharmacy and nursing, in addition to teacher initiation institutes, in the fields of mathematics, science, Arabic and religion, under the supervision of specialists, PhD holders or graduate studies students.
He pointed out that students were allowed in the universities based on their general average of points during high school that of the regime or the Interim Government and that several batches have graduated from the departments of education and nursing with diplomas certified by the Interim Government.
Students Divided into Two Cases
Following the Syrian regime’s control over Daraa, the students were divided into two cases: The first represents students who were studying at Damascus’ universities and suspended their registration in 2012, fearing the idea of going to the Syrian regime’s areas.
A 27 years old female student Maissaa Ahmad, pseudonym, told Enab Baladi that she returned to university after the Syrian regime has taken over the area, but as a first-year student, comparing herself to her colleagues: “We all used to be excellent students; however, they are teachers today.”
A convoy of Damascus University students, 700 persons, left the cities of al-Hara, Inkhel and Jasim in western rural Daraa last September, after they legalized their status with the security branches of the Syrian regime.
The second case applies to the students holding Interim Government high school certificates and pursued their education at universities and institutes established by it following the opposition factions’ control of the area, which the regime did not acknowledge.
Student Mohammad Omar said that he received a certificate from an opposition affiliate high school, with excellent grades that allowed him to enter the Pharmacy College at the city of Nawa.
“The on-ground changes and the control of the Syrian regime led to the cessation of the universities in the liberated areas. Today, the regime recognizes neither the high school certificate nor my education at the pharmacy department, and I cannot apply to high school exams at the regime’s schools as I am summoned to military service.”