Autonomous Administration suspends teachers hiring in Deir Ezzor
Deir Ezzor – Obadah al-Sheikh
About a month after the end of submitting applications for the competition to appoint new teachers in areas controlled by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), the results have not yet been announced, which has left a negative impact on the educational process in the Deir Ezzor regions in particular, while the AANES are citing financial and technical reasons.
The Education Authority announced a competition to appoint new teachers at the beginning of last September, from those who hold university and institute degrees in science departments, and stipulated that the age of the applicant should not exceed 45 years and that the application must be submitted within a period of nine days ending on the 21st of Last September.
One of the applicants for the competition, Majd (who requested that his full name not be mentioned for security reasons), told Enab Baladi that he holds a certificate from an intermediate university institute for physical preparation. When the competition was announced, he submitted his papers, but he is still awaiting the results of the appointment.
According to his previous experiences in applying to the AANES institutions, Majd expected that the competition would be “prepared for specific people,” as a member of the Public Finance Committee asked him for $400 in exchange for mediating to appoint him directly, which he refused.
An official in the Education Committee told Enab Baladi that the competition was supposed to start before the start of the current school year, but it was announced with the tribal uprising in an attempt to “absorb the anger of the street.”
Hundreds of people from the Deir Ezzor countryside applied, holding university and institute degrees and even high school diplomas.
The official added that the General Finance Authority refused to open financial credits for new teachers in Deir Ezzor, but this is not a special case; rather, most sectors suffer from financing problems despite the urgent need to appoint employees in them, according to the official.
The official also indicated that the Deir Ezzor Civil Council, affiliated with the Autonomous Administration, refused to allocate financial funds for the competition because it was not “convinced of the need for the Deir Ezzor countryside to recruit new teachers,” in addition to the impact of recent events in stopping financial funds related to education and others.
Large areas under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir Ezzor witnessed armed confrontations between local fighters from the tribes in the governorate and the SDF on August 28, following the arrest of the leader of its Deir Ezzor Military Council, Ahmed al-Khbail (Abu Khawla). During the confrontations, local fighters took control of villages and towns in the region, which the SDF was later able to storm.
The Deir Ezzor countryside has witnessed a bad educational situation for several years due to the lack of support. Last year also witnessed strikes in various areas in rejection of the curriculum imposed by the Education Authority and other protests over low salaries.
In September 2022, the Autonomous Administration issued a decision to include Islamic, Christian, and Yazidi religious education in the schools of Raqqa, Tabqa, and Deir Ezzor, starting from the fourth grade of primary school until the ninth grade of middle school, which the residents of the region considered “contrary to religion and customs.”
Some of these strikes demanded the dismissal of the Education Authority in Deir Ezzor and its restructuring, as it does not represent the people, teachers, and students of Deir Ezzor.
A local official in the al-Busayrah town complex, affiliated with the Education Authority in the Deir Ezzor countryside, justified to Enab Baladi the AANES’ position regarding the delay in appointing teachers by saying that the reason for the delay was “verifying applicants’ certificates due to the presence of forged certificates in large numbers, which forced the (Education Authority) to delay, to reveal fake certificates and retain qualified people.”
Deteriorating educational situation
Mazloum Hussam, administrator of the Education Authority, stated that the AANES stands with teachers and employs them amid displacement and difficult living conditions, adding that the biggest challenge is “achieving international and official recognition of academic degrees issued in the region.”
As students in northeastern Syria begin arriving to start a new academic year, the opening of schools in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor was delayed for about two weeks due to security tensions and armed confrontations that are still reverberating in parts of eastern Syria.
As a result of the military confrontations, most services were cut off from the region, and they began to gradually return in mid-September.
According to the latest statistics issued by the Education Authority, the number of students expected to enroll in schools reached about 864,000 male and female students under the supervision and care of more than 43,000 male and female teachers.
The most recent competition to appoint teachers took place in Deir Ezzor countryside in 2021, according to the official of the Teachers’ Union in Deir Ezzor countryside, Reem (she refused to give her full name for security reasons), who reported to Enab Baladi that the region needs to appoint new teachers to fill the shortage in education caused by the Islamic State during its years of control over the region.
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