Seizing control on Daraa in July 2018, the Syrian government started imposing unfair practices, most notably the mass dismissals of teachers in the towns of Shajara, Busra al-Sham, Nawa, and al-Sanamayn, as a large number of teachers, reportedly 95, were fired from October 4 to November 5 of the same year, the date of writing this report, without clear reasons.
Teachers of Daraa considered the decisions to be a retaliatory measure taken against them for not visiting Syria’s educational directorate during the years of the armed groups’ rule on the province, a fact that the teachers justified by the difficult security situation then. However, the Syrian government treated those teachers as either retired or were being paid by ‘foreign bodies’, according to testimonies gained by STJ’s field researcher.
Same procedures were carried out by the Syrian government in other provinces, as in September 2018 it imposed mass dismissal decisions, fines and imprisonment sentences against 400 civil servants across al-Qunaitra province, including 50 teachers who were fired on various charges, including the involvement in terrorist activities.
And in al-Sweida province 71 teachers were fired, for evading military reserve service. 
Further arbitrary practices were also taken by the Syrian government, as it arrested many civilians during August and September 2018, in the towns of al-Harrah, Atman, and al-Meliha al-Gharbiya, in violation to the six-month settlement agreement which contains safety guarantees for Daraa’s civilians.
93 teachers fired without clear reasons
On October 4, 2018, Syrian Prime Minister’s Office sent five directives with the numbers 15/1070, 30, 1800, 982, and 1030 to the educational directorates in each of Busra al-Sham, Nawa, Izraa, al-Sanamayn, Jasim, and al-Shajarah. The directives stipulated to the non-appointment or rehiring of 93 teachers, without providing reasons. Under this decision, some teachers were considered as retired.
The towns of Busra al-Sham, Nawa, Izraa, al-Sanamayn, Jasim, and al-Shajarah, cover an area of over 2500 square kilometer (km2), with an estimated population of 207,321, equivalent to 6.5 percent of Daraa’s population, as reported by the Provincial Council of Free Daraa of the Syrian Interim Government/opposition, on March 2018.
Syria’s Ministry of Culture listed Daraa as illiteracy-free province in early 2010. Every small residential complex contained either a school, a kindergarten or an educational establishments (EE). Prior to the Syrian conflict, in 2010, there were approximately 1,124 EE, including private schools. The EE included 280,468 students and 16,453 teachers, i.e. one single teacher supervised 17 students.
The ongoing Syrian war has had the most devastating effects on the educational sector and other aspects of life in the areas which had got out of the regime’s hand. The complicated state created a significant administrative vacuum which led the teachers to get all messed up for several reasons, explained by a former employee in the Project Services Office of the Syrian Interim Government, who said:
“Many schools were destroyed in the last few years. The Damage caused to the infrastructure was estimated to be more than 70 per cent. About 40 per cent of bridges, roads and public objects were destroyed as well. Consequently, many teachers were forced to stop going to schools. Moreover, poverty prompted many of them to seek jobs in other sectors, especially in humanitarian organizations. Therefore, those teachers were fired because of their continued unexcused absence from schools. The war incidents and the fear of arrest also prevented a large segment of teachers to go and receive salaries although they kept teaching at their schools. Syria’s educational directorate decided to fire them due to their absence. It considered their status to be similar to those who dodged the reserve or the mandatory military service.”
 In July 2018, the Syrian government took control over Daraa province, under a settlement agreement reached between it and the armed opposition groups. The agreement was concluded over two stages with Russian police guarantee. The first stage included the north area of Daraa and al-Lajat region. The second stage included the rest of the province except the Yarmouk Basin, which the Syrian forces controlled in August 2018. One of the agreement’s provisions was that the Syrian forces would not enter the villages ahead of the Russian police and without conducting settlements. Another item stipulated non-exposure to any residents, STJ’s field researcher said.
 “Syria’s Ministry of Culture Celebrates an Illiteracy-Free Daraa Province”, the General Organization of Radio and TV, Syria (ORTAS), January 9, 2010, http://www.ortas.gov.sy/index.php?p=20&id=56003.
 Dr. Qasim al-Zidawi, High Rate of Population and Urban Development in Daraa Province, Damascus university magazine, volume 30, http://www.damascusuniversity.edu.sy/mag/human/images/stories/3-2014/en/709-752.pdf.