Syria - Administration, Finance, & Educational Research
Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceSyria - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education
FINANCE ADMINISTRATION & EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH
The Ministry of Higher Education, led by the Minister and four deputy ministers, is responsible for all aspects of curricular development and administration of Syrian schools, colleges, and universities. Syria's schools are used to teach political ideology and to train those needed for the nation's current and projected future economic and political needs. They remain microcosms of the authority and order found in society; teachers' instructions and assertions are not to be questioned.
Because of government regulations, the general public's access to many forms of communication has been limited. Fax machines were illegal until 1995. In 1999, when the Internet first became available, access was limited because of the lack of phone lines and servers available, and because most Syrians had no training in information technology's uses. In fact, in 2000 there were only about 2,000 Internet subscribers in Syria. In 1999 Syria began a government-controlled pilot program that made Internet access available for the first time to government institutions and universities. At the first Syrian-Lebanese computer forum in April 2000, Bashar al-Assad, then president of Syria's Computer Society, recognized the importance of information technology and stated that Syria was planning an immediate expansion of Internet access so it would be available to every household. This expansion will impact research in a myriad of ways as knowledge is shared. Transferring technology from some countries, including the United States, was still banned, however, in 2001.
In September 1991, the government's National Information Center opened. The center has a two-fold purpose: collecting and preserving documents and selecting, collecting, analyzing, processing and storing information electronically. Syria's first optical archiving network began operation in 1993. The network enables researchers and decision makers to access records and documents quickly and easily. The National Information Center established an Internet site in 1997, but there was no online access to its records and files.
In February 1994, the center supported the creation of the National Coordination and Cooperative Committee for Information. One goal of the National Coordination and Cooperative Committee for Information is to work with existing organizations to create and maintain a national database with a uniform documentation system. Only those who receive prior approval, however, may use the information. Since August 1994, the National Information Center has periodically published a magazine to report its activities and those of other organizations.