Houthi Campaigns to Indoctrinate Yemeni Students
Houthi militias have recently launched several campaigns in insurgent-run areas to indoctrinate students, raising objections among teachers and parents.
The Houthi campaigns took place mainly in Saada, Ibb, Dhamar and Sanaa, where the militias changed the names of several public schools and introduced courses to teach students the rhetoric of their leader and fighting techniques.
In Sanaa, Houthis renamed Rabaa El Adaweya School to become Fatima al-Zahra.
Sources said that militia leaders plan such changes in dozens of schools in the capital by giving them the names of religious figures or officials who have died in clashes with the legitimacy.
In Ibb, Houthis changed the name of Al-Thawrah Public School for girls to Fatima Al-Zahra. Al-Saleh School for boys was also renamed Martyrs’ school.
Both schools are located in Jibla district.
Houthis have targeted the education system in Yemen since they seized Sanaa late 2014.
Sources said parents have objected the renaming campaign, saying education should not be politicized.
Some parents told Asharq Al-Awsat that the militias had gone too far by targeting schools and young students with their ideologies.
Houthis use their authority to force public and private schools to organize educational programs that promote their religious and political doctrine.
Houthis have lately taken unlawful decisions to incorporate political chants praising Ruhollah Khomeini during morning sermons at schools.
According to UNICEF, at least 2 million children are out of school, including almost half a million who dropped out since Yemen’s conflict escalated in March 2015. The education of another 3.7 million children now hangs in the balance as teachers’ salaries have not been paid in over two years.