KurdWatch, October 10, 2015—On October 3, 2015, thirteen Kurdish organizations from Syria as well as numerous writers and activists—including quite a few people in exile—issued a statement criticizing the education policy of the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). By October 5, the statement had nearly one hundred ninety signatures. It calls for a reintroduction of English and Arabic, as well as hiring only trained teachers. It also demands that schoolchildren no longer be separated according to ethnic background.
The background to the protest is the PYD’s decision to cut Arabic and English instruction for the first three grades of elementary school. These grades are taught exclusively in Kurdish. In grades four through six, instruction continues to be given in Arabic. Kurdish has been a secondary subject for several years [further information]. Many parents reject the decision to cut Arabic and other foreign language instruction. Several families have tried to send their children to schools in predominantly Arab districts, because the PYD’s »school reforms« do not apply there. The PYD put an end to this.