News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF) SEYİT EVRAN – EFRIN: One of efforts which both has emerged with the revolution and which itself can be characterized as a revolution within the revolution is the work around Kurdish education. The work of the Kurdish Language Institute (SZK) began immediately after the revolution in the Efrîn Canton in the village of Durakliya near Şera Nahiyesine with around 100 students in 2012. After two years Kurdish language instruction continues in seven districts across Efrîn and 365 villages. All students from primary school to high school receive three hours of Kurdish a week, and in the coming year there are plans so that education in grades 1 through 6 will be entirely conducted in Kurdish, according to the Education Minister of the Canton, Riyad Mele Mihemmed.
SZK officials and officials with the Education Ministry reported that there are a number of important reasons why steps have not been taken until now to switch entirely to mother-tongue education. The first among these reasons are the lack of educational material and teachers.
First Teachers Were Trained
Education Minister Mihemmed recalled that work around education began with campaigns in towns, villages and cities and the opening if education center. Following this campaigns were launched to promote every village and neighborhood to produce their own teachers, Mihemmmed explained, saying “at the very beginning with worked in the village, on the street, and in the neighborhood so that the importance of the mother-tongue would be understood and life in the mother-tongue possible. Then we opened schools for mother-tongue language education in villages, neighborhoods, the city and the districts. At the same time we struggled to ensure that mother-tongue education would be made available in schools under the control of the regime. We have started teaching education and training to provide mother-tongue education. We have achieved an important result. In two years we have prepared as much as 1000 teachers.”
Of those around 700 are now working in the Efrin Canton, said Minister Mihemmed, and 550 of those are women who have a special connection and duty with regard to the learning and teaching of the mother-tongue.
Colleges And Popular Education Houses
In the last two years hundreds of popular education houses have been opened throughout the Efrîn Canton as part of the work of the SZK, in order to prevent children and youth from going without education or leaving the country, as well as to keep them away from being targeted for recruitment by armed groups.
The work of the SZK in the Efrîn Canton began two years with one school upon the opening of a 51-person assembly and a Teachers Union. A portion of the teachers from those who had been earlier trained in mother-tongue language education received further education in the Ferzan Kemanger Academy with the goal of later opening the Profession College of Kurdish Language and Literature. The college was opened upon the graduation of the first class from the academy and three months of course-work. 400 students are about to complete their first year.
The Ferzan Kemanger Academy is now about to graduate its third class. Courses in the academy cover various topics, including most of all language, literature, history and pedagogy.
The SZK has also worked together with the Education Ministry of the Efrîn Canton’s Autonomous Government in order to develop exams. There have been significant developments in this area as well, and last year four thousand high school and middle schools were registered for such exams.