In its takeover of eastern Syria, the Islamic State, or ISIS, has reformed every aspect of society according to its strict interpretation of religious law. The reform of the education system has been especially intense. ISIS has banned any trace of the secular curriculum that used to be taught in local schools. Residents say they have burned old schoolbooks, which were considered a violation of divine law.
Some students have fled ISIS territory to regime-held areas, seeking ways to continue their studies in the system they’ve always known. Others who’ve stayed behind are subject to the ISIS education system, shaped by ISIS authorities and ideologies.