The continuation of the Houthi coup threatens to turn the children of Yemen into murderers

About eight years after the Houthi militia coup, Ibrahim, who was born into a Sana’ani family, enrolled in the first grade (primary) of a public school in the Mathbah area, west of Yemen’s captured capital, in early 2015, joining more than six million students in continuing public education, 70% of them became vulnerable to Houthi militia terrorism through a broad process of sectarianism and brainwashing, leading to the dangers of recruitment and carrying weapons.

Ibrahim, who was expected by his father and mother to one day become a doctor or an engineer, opens his eyes every morning when he goes to school to thousands of pictures of militiamen and their leaders, living and dead, of various sizes and shapes, to reshape his mind about the culture of death and the slogans of the “Khomeinist state” and the consecration of the Houthi leader’s dynasty, according to what his father told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Millions of Yemeni students—despite resistance from local communities to Houthi ideology—have become the world’s largest ideological abduction, where militias have changed curricula to serve their ideas, and where daily sectarian programs that start from the morning order, all the way to plague-infested classes terrorist ideas, and sanctifying death and inciting it, and presenting the image of a militia leader in the garb of religious sanctity.

Saleh, a pseudonym for an administrative employee in the embassy of a famous eastern country, did not know that his well-to-do state, his republican culture and his family, far from the ideas of the Houthis, would not be enough to immunize his fifteen-year-old son, except that he was shocked by his disappearance with three of his peers from the eastern neighborhood in Sana’a. To be surprised by his presence through one of the Houthi supervisors on the Al-Jawf front.

A few days later, his son’s friends were killed and the son returned with a mental disorder. However, Saleh could only sell his house and go to another area in Sana’a where he knew no one, far from the hands of the Houthis who were waiting to lure the rest of his children. .

immediate danger

The Houthi militia, like terrorist movements based on theocratic ideas, realized that it was facing an inexhaustible minefield of mobilizing thousands of students in schools and workers in the education sector, so it pushed Yahya al-Houthi, the brother of its leader, to with its most prominent associates, al -With Qasim Hamran (one of the relatives of the leader of the group), he took over the operation Hotanization of the public education sector.

In his interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, the Yemeni undersecretary of the Yemeni Ministry of Information, Abd al-Basit al-Qaedi, believes that “this matter is more dangerous than the war itself, since the war can end and its effects can be dealt with, but poisoning the curricula and programming and setting the minds of students will not end easily and will continue for generations, fueling and developing conflict.” And that makes it a permanent and permanent condition,” he said.

Over the past eight years, the militias have devoted all their efforts to attracting students from schools, as it is estimated that more than 40,000 children have been recruited into their ranks, an effort that has prompted their senior leaders to boast that they are creating a new generation of believers in their ideas. through which they can continue the fight against Yemen to what extent.Infinity.

The militias not only cut the salaries of about 130 teachers in their areas of control to facilitate the replacement of thousands of their members, but also adopted a comprehensive policy of strengthening control over all aspects of the education process, starting with the dismissal of all principals who are not loyal to them in the public administration. , in schools and in various educational sectors, to the preparation of revised annual editions of curricula that contain the group’s sectarian ideology and glorify its leadership and its dead, while blurring the features of the republican rule established after 1962, the revolution that overthrew the group’s imam predecessors.

In this context, al-Qaedi emphasizes that “the continued dominance of the Houthi militia over education in light of the distortion of the curriculum and their inclusion of sectarian ideas means the creation of generations charged with racism, hostile to others and unable to coexist with it.” He claims: “This is a prelude to the tearing of the social fabric, the fragmentation of kinship ties and a threat to social peace, security and stability.”

Comprehensive feminization

With the understanding of the coup group that they will not be able to control society except through the doors of education, they launched comprehensive operations of “hawtanization” in this sector, as they changed the names of schools to give them a sectarian character, either by naming names of historical symbols or the names of their dead leaders or adjectives that they also perpetuate the group’s approach. This happened to many schools in Sanaa, Amran, Hajjah, Ibb and Dhamar.

In order to establish its control as much as possible, it resorted to making radical changes in the curricula, especially in the curricula of Islamic education, national education, geography, history and the Arabic language, and even curricula of a purely scientific character, which is inoculated with contents that point to his ideas of a sectarian and destructive approach, as is the case in the arithmetic curricula for elementary grades.

According to education sources in Houthi-controlled areas, the militias fired and replaced thousands of teachers and directed departmental activities to force students to repeat the “Khomeinist cry” and pledge allegiance to their leader, while allocating weekly hours to receive the group’s ideas through generalists. who are entrusted with it.mission. In addition to turning the walls of schools into exhibitions of pictures of dead adults and children, in the sense of glorifying killing and calling for the carrying of weapons in their ranks.

Desperate resistance

Residents in militia-controlled areas are trying to resist these waves of sectarianism for the sake of education and polarization, but as the coup drags on, many of them are becoming desperate. Most of the public schools are in the hands of militias and subject to their will and culture, and they cannot afford to educate their children in private schools. Even those schools – according to what Yassin, the pseudonym of one of the parents, was not spared from Houthi attacks, because elements of the group began to infiltrate them and impose their new curricula and sectarian activities on them.fine.

In his interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Yassin confirms that despair began to creep into people’s hearts after the long wait to liberate Sana’a and rebuild the state. He says: “You cannot control your children, no matter how eager you are to indoctrinate them with wrong Houthi ideas. The militias, their elements, their media and their supervisors are everywhere. In the school, the street, the mosque and everywhere.

For his part, Qassem, who is a pseudonym for the former principal of a well-known school in Sana’a, believes that the most dangerous weapon the Houthis possess is not their drones or their Iranian missiles, “but their control over education, as it is possible that in a few years the entire population will It will be young people.” The rest of the area under militia control is an ideological army that believes in the ideas (of the Iranian state) and the sanctity of the militia leader and his dynasty.” According to his commentary for “Asharq Al-Awsat”.

And he continues: “You may find little resistance in cities and urban areas due to the means of communication and the accumulation of cultural immunity among families, but the countryside, which includes more than 65 percent of students in schools, parallel to the spread of poverty and ignorance, will be easy prey for the whole this generation to be turned into a spearhead.” The Houthis.” according to his expression.

The former headmistress of the school criticizes the UN and the international role and says: “Even the United Nations and international organizations dealing with children do not feel the immediate danger and all their interest is focused on the idea of ​​going to school and getting food for the students, but they do not pay attention to the danger of the content the Houthis present to millions of children, as dozens of them have become. Thousands are already in the process of becoming future killers at the behest of the group’s leader.”

It is important to note that the Yemeni government and other UN reports estimate that the illiteracy rate in terms of reading and writing is still at a level of at least 65%. This is one of the problems with which it has become easy for armed groups to control local communities.

government coping mechanisms

The legitimate Yemeni government and its institutions located in the liberated areas, along with the educational unions, know very well what it means for millions of students to remain under the pressure of the Houthi coup, but they have no power or strength on the ground, so it is enough for the officials to issue warnings to parents about the danger of destructive ideas Houthi, while it is enough for the lawyers to monitor the violations of the coup in the education sector.

The Yemeni government believes that “the magnitude of Houthi changes in school curricula confirms the militia’s relentless attempts to impose an Iranian vision, identity and beliefs on Yemen in particular and the Arab region in general, and its systematic targeting of the minds of future generations and their national and Arab identity.”

The media officer of the Yemeni Teachers’ Union, Yahya Al-Yanaei, spoke in previous statements about the new changes the group has imposed in school curricula, which would perpetuate intellectual and political dependence on Iran, as militias have erased from the history books for sixth grade the name Arabian Gulf and replaced it with the name Persian Gulf, which is the name Iran is launching on the Arabian Gulf Sea, citing a lesson supplement titled “The Alawite State in Tabaristan,” with the goal of trying to connect Yemen and Iran historically.

In his statements, Al-Yanaei talks about more than 31,000 violations by the Houthis against the educational process and teachers, in the period between September 2014 and December 2021, and considers it “a shocking thing and a dangerous indicator of the reality of groups of serious violations against workers.” educators.”

International numbers

UN and international reports, by many, focus more on the formal damage of the Houthi coup in terms of education, as they have confirmed that more than 2,900 schools have ceased to function, either in the sense that they have been completely or partially damaged, or as a result of their conversion to military barracks or weapons depots, as is the case in some areas controlled by militias or in areas in contact with legitimate government control.

Due to the effects of the Houthi coup and the eight-year war, conditions of poverty and lack of livelihoods have caused more than two million children to drop out of education, according to the UN. However, Yemeni reports confirm the presence of more than three million school-age children outside the educational process.

According to data documented by the International Committee of the Red Cross, there are more than 8 million children at various levels of education who need support to continue their education, at a time when one in every 4 schools is destroyed, damaged or used for non-educational purposes.

UNICEF also confirms in its reports that Yemen is facing an acute crisis in education, because the number of children with educational disorders could reach six million students, “which will have huge consequences for them in the long term”.

Attacks on school children, teachers and educational infrastructure have had a devastating effect on the country’s education system and access to education for millions of Yemeni children. According to the same reports.

During the war years, UN agencies tried to contribute to the improvement of the educational process through donations from donors, led by Saudi and Gulf donors. Out of 172,000 male and female teachers) have been receiving a regular salary since 2016 or have stopped teaching in search of other income-generating activities.

It emphasizes that other factors contributing to children’s increased vulnerability include “frequent displacement, distance from schools, safety and security issues, including explosives hazards, lack of female teachers (80% of teachers are male) and lack of access to water and sanitation.” gender sensitive health care.

While UNICEF reports warn of the dangers of Yemeni girls dropping out of school and being exposed to early marriage and domestic violence, it says boys who drop out are more likely to be recruited into armed groups, as is the case with Ibrahim, whose father fears he will be recruited by the Houthi militia to fight before he completes his primary education.

Source: Middle East

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