Education in Syria

Education in Syria

Despite being a low-income country with a growing population, Syria has a good basic education system. The Baath Party promotes the idea that education is one of the foundations of economic development. Since 1967, all schools, colleges, and universities have been under close government supervision by the Baath Party. The party makes sure that everyone is educated to believe in its ideals. [ [ Syria - Education ] ]


As of 2006, the literacy rate was 79.8 percent total, 86.0 percent for men and 73.6 percent for women. [] Most post-secondary education is state provided, but legislation passed in 2001 allows the establishment of some private universities and colleges. Resources for education have risen in absolute terms over the past decade, but it is difficult to match the rate of population growth. Showing an increase over 2002 spending, 8.6 percent of the state budget was earmarked for education in 2003. Six years of primary school for children ages 6–11 are free and compulsory, and enrollment is near 100 percent for both boys and girls.

The Educational System in Syria

The educational system in Syria was based on the old French system. Education is free in all public schools and obligatory up to the 9th grade. Schools are divided into three levels:

1st to 4th grade: Basic Education Level I (Arabic: تعليم أساسي حلقة أولى‎)
5th to 9th grade: Basic Education Level II (Arabic: تعليم أساسي حلقة ثانية‎)
10th to 12th grade: Secondary Education (Arabic: التعليم الثانوي‎), which is the equivalent of High School.
Final exams of the 9th grade are carried out nationally at the same time. The result of these exams determines if the student goes to the "general" secondary schools or the technical secondary schools. Technical secondary schools include industrial and agricultural schools for male students, crafts school for female students, and commercial and computer science schools for both.

At the beginning of the 11th grade, those who go to "general" secondary school have to choose to continue their study in either the "literary branch" or the "scientific branch".

The final exams of the 12th grade (the baccalaureate) are also carried out nationally and at the same time. The result of these exams determines which university, college and specialization the student goes to. To do that the student has to apply through a complicated system called Mufadalah.

Colleges charge modest fees ($10–20 a year) if the student achieves the sufficient marks in his Baccalaureate exams. If not, the student may opt to pay higher fees ($1500–3000) to enroll. There are some private schools and colleges but their fees are much higher.

Most universities in Syria follow the French model of the high education, the university stages and the academic degrees are:

First stage: the Licence awarded after 4 years to 6 years depending on the field.
Second stage: the DEA or DESS 1-2 years postgraduate degree equivalent to the Master's degree in the American-English systems.
Third stage: the doctorat 3-5 years after the DEA or an equivalent degree.
Since 1967, all schools, colleges, and universities have been under close government supervision by the Baath Party. [20]


At the secondary level, the education system also includes three years of general or vocational education followed by three years of academic or vocational education. However, classes are large and facilities poor at all levels. Domestic policies emphasize engineering and medicine in Syria’s universities, with less emphasis on the arts, law, and business.

See article on Islamic Curriculum in Syrian Schools: [Joshua Landis,"Islamic Education in Syria: Undoing Secularism,"] Also Translated into Arabic by The Tharwa Project, a Syrian-based think-tank. Also published as “Syria: Secularism, Arabism, and Sunni Orthodoxy,” in Eleanor Doumato and Gregory Starrett, Eds., Teaching Islam: Textbooks and Religion in the Middle East, London & Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007, pp. 177-196.

Public Universities

* Damascus University in Damascus
* Aleppo University in Aleppo
* Al-Baath University in Homs and Hama
* Tishreen University in Latakia
* Furat University in Deir ez-Zor,Ar-Raqqah and Al-Hasakah
* Higher Institute for Applied Science and Technology (HIAST) in Damascus
* Higher Institute of Business Administration [ (HIBA)] in Damascus

Private Universities

Private Universities in Syria are:
* Maamoun University for Sciences and Technology (MUST) - Al Qamishli and Aleppo
* University of Kalamoon - Deir Atieh.
* The Arab European University - in Sahnaia, Damascus - Daraa Autostrada.
* The Arab American University for Technology (AAUT) in Aleppo.
* International University for Science and Technology (IUST) in Daraa.
* Al-Andalous University for Medical Sciences in Tartus (Actually up in the mountains near Qadmous Village).
* Al-Wadi University in Wadi AlNassara (Christian Vally).
* The Syrian International University for Science and Technology, in Sahnaia, Damascus - Daraa Autostrada.
* Al-Ittihad University in Ar-Raqqah and Aleppo.
* AlHwash University in AlHwash in Homs.

Virtual university

In September 2002, the president founded the country’s first virtual university through which students can obtain degrees from international institutions.

Computer literacy

This measure and others, such as making computer literacy mandatory at the high-school level and English- and French-language instruction compulsory in the elementary schools, have the goal of equipping students with computer and language skills in order to modernize the economy through the education system.


External links

* Joshua Landis," [ Islamic Education in Syria] "

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