Pupils in Afrin hold Kurdish flags at al-Caviz village on March 26, 2018. Photo: AA
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — With some Kurds from Afrin unable to return, schools are hurriedly registering high school students in order to finish final exams.
“The level of registration high. We postponed the registration process due to the situation of the region,” head master of the Itihad School Hassan, told Afrin Media Centre. "Now we are providing courses which are required before exams for ninth grade students.”
The high school is open to students in grades 9-12. Hassan added they would do their “best to receive more students."
Because of the two-month assault on Afrin by Turkey and its Free Syrian Army proxy fighters, students must complete a course in order to catch up with their studies and pass their end-of-year exams.
The bulk of its teachers are Arabs who were relocated to Afrin, a local source told Rudaw on the condition of anonymity, explaining that the Kurdish language is prohibited at the school.
Thousands of Kurds have been displaced from their homes and haven't been able to return since Turkey's Operation Olive Branch.
The former administration of Afrin had prepared 1,200 teachers — 80 percent women — for their new curriculum. Kurdish was the principal language of study but students were also taught in Arabic and English.
Around 50,000 students are deprived of education because of the conditions in Afrin.
Some photos were shared by Turkish state media on March 26 showing Kurdish students in Afrin raising the Turkish flag and the portraits of Turkish politicians, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hanging on the buildings of schools.
Kurds have had to seek education in other areas of northern Syria like Azaz and Jarabulus which are held by the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army.
Kurds made up 95 percent of Afrin’s population before the Turkish operation.
Waves of Arabization began soon after its takeover by Arab rebel groups and Turkish forces.
Like a myriad other villages around Afrin, the village of Barava near Sheraye town has witnessed the Arabization process as its residents are prevented from returning home.
According to local sources speaking to Rudaw on condition of anonymity, 10 Arab families have been resettled there.
The source added that two months ago, 16 Kurdish families tried to return, but were evicted once again by the Sultan Murad Brigade fighters, a unit backed by the Free Syrian Army.