Rojava university seeks to eliminate constraints on education in Syria’s Kurdish region

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Rojava students. File photo: Anha

ARA News 

QAMISHLIThe recently inaugurated University of Rojava in Syria’s northeastern Qamishli city called on qualified academics to join its staff in order to help accomplishing its ambitions as the first university in Syria’s Kurdish region.

Speaking to ARA News, director of the Kurdish language institute in Rojava University, Abdulkhader Abdo, said that the collapse of the Syrian educational system due to the ongoing civil war has affected an entire generation of students, who haven’t been able to study. 

“Opening such a university in Qamislo [Qamishli] is a golden opportunity for many to study, including those aspiring to study in their Kurdish mother language,” he said.

The university will include a faculty of medicine, college of education and science, and a college of engineering.

“In terms of finding academics, the teaching staff might suffer in lack of academics for every department, particularly there are some branches to be opened in Syria for the first time such women science [Jinology in Kurdish],” he added.

Salih Abdo, the head of the educational committee, told ARA News the university is expected to open registration for students in the academic year 2016-2017.

“The university will be open for all groups, and protect the students from risks while traveling to Syrian cities amid the conflict,” he added.

Khaled Issa, the representative of Rojava in France, said that the Rojava  university has an agreement with the Paris 8 university in France for joint cooperation.

“This year they [Paris 8 university] are preparing everything,” Issa told ARA News.

The Syrian government in the past discriminated the Kurdish region, and Kurdish students were forced to travel to Hasakah, Aleppo, Damascus or other Syrian cities for higher education. Now with the Syrian civil war and the war against ISIS, many students in northern Syria are not able to finish their studies.

Syrian Kurds opened their first college in the Kurdish city of Efrin (Afrin) in October 2015 to deal with the educational constraints encountered by local students who used to study in Aleppo city before the deterioration of the security conditions there. 

Eliminating Risks 

The Educational Commission of the Rojava’s Cezire canton in northeastern Syria announced the inauguration of the Rojava University in early June, 2016, declaring its headquarters at Qamishli city. The newly launched Rojava University will provide education in Arabic, Kurdish and English.

The joint head of the Educational Commission in Cezire canton, Samira Haj Ali, said that the Rojava University will be recognised. She added that an agreement was signed with Paris 8 university in order to support the Kurdish university in northern Syria.

Students in Rojava, especially those studying at the Mesopotamia Academy, emphasised the importance of inaugurating the university. This comes as hundreds of Kurdish students have been expelled from Syrian universities due to the ongoing crisis that hit the country over the past five years.

Samira Haj Ali, Head of Cezire Educational Commission, told ARA News: “The Rojava University includes colleges of medicine, engineering, agricultural studies, communications and computer sciences among others, all based in Qamishli. Also, a collage of petrolume studies based in Rumelan city.

“The University also includes a Kurdish literature collage and educational science institute. The university will be recognised by other educational institutions, especially that we’ve signed an agreement with the Paris 8 university to exchange expertise,” she said.

Speaking to ARA News, Sevi Adbe, a student at Mesopotamia Academy in Qamishli, emphasised the importance of the Rojava University for the local students in the region.

“The inauguration of this university is a very important step in Rojava. Students in the region needed such a university as we were previously obliged to travel to other provinces to study at Syrian universities,” she said. “It is unsafe to travel such long distances amid the ongoing instability in the country So this university will be a great solution to eliminate those risks.” 

Reporting by: Fatma Abdulhalim, Jan Mohammed and Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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