News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF/AZİZ KÖYLÜOĞLU/QAMIŞLO) The revolution in Kurdish language education in Rojava is being reflected in celebrations around Kurdish Language Day, officially marked on May 15th. The Kurdish Language Institute (SZK) which first began mother-tongue education in private homes in Rojava, is now offering officially recognized language courses at 670 schools in the Cizîre Canton alone. With three thousand teachers and 49,700 students, Kurdish courses organized by the SZK are now part of the curriculum from elementary to secondary school. Once more, the preparation of teachers for the other parts of Kurdistan has now come onto the SZK’s agenda.
The SZK’s educational work has passed through three stages since the beginning of the Rojava revolution until now; the first began in private homes. When the Syrian regime was still in control of the cities of Rojava and Syria the SZK offered Kurdish language education secretly in private homes. In the first days of the Rojava Revolution itself Kurdish language education began to be offered in private schools relying on volunteer teachers and despite limited opportunities. As a result of this work, however, three thousand teachers were prepared in just the Cizîre Canton.
No Nationality Or Age Restrictions For Kurdish Education
Today nearly 50 thousand students of all ages – including the very old – are proud to be receiving education in their own languages. Arab, Kurdish, Syriac and Armenian children can also learn Kurdish in official schools.
Workers in municipalities, public security forces and people’s houses are also cycling through educational programs opened by the SZK in order to establish better communication with the people and serve better.
Three Stage Education
Hasan Mihemed, one of the administrators of the Kurdish Language Institute in the Cizîre Canton, spoke to ANF about the development of Kurdish education in Rojava. According to Mihemed the first two stages were three month courses to establish a foundation in the Kurdish language. The third stage is to prepare Kurdish language teachers and to begin to education teachers for the Language, History and Literature Academy.
Mihemed explained that parallel work was going on in the Kobanê and Efrin cantons of Rojava, and that the SZK had established relations with other Kurdish language institutions in the other parts of Kurdistan, which had made important contributions to language work in Rojava. He went on to explain that these institutions were cooperating to create great a broad corpus of textual resources and education material.
Training Teachers For All Of Kurdistan
Mihemed went on to explain that the SZK is aiming to train teachers for all parts of Kurdistan and the work around the Language, History and Literature Academy is in large part directed toward meeting this goal. At the same time teachers are also being trained at private cities in every city of Rojava, and emphasized that one of the biggest gains of the Rojava revolution has been around the subject of Kurdish language education.
New School Surprise For Kurdish Language Day
Education in Kurdish is not limited to language training, said Mihemed, and Kurdish language materials for instruction in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, etc have also been prepared. The goal is to begin Kurdish language education in such subjects in the shortest possible timeframe, and that the academy’s work had played an important role in this respect.
Mihemed also stressed that celebrations for this year’s Kurdish Language Day have taken on a new importance in light of the developments around the revolution. This year the holiday will be marked in Rojava by seminars, marches, tree plantings in parks and gardens, and the opening of new schools providing education in the Kurdish language.