Syria/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.1 Institutional overview

Art high education institutes and colleges are divided between the ministries of Higher Education, Culture, and Education as follows:

  • MOHE: The  Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus, Aleppo, and Swaida, the Faculty of Antiquities and Museums in Damascus, the Faculty of Architecture in Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia, and Homs; and  the faculty of music in Homs.

  • MOC: High Institute for Theatrical Arts, High Institute for Music, High Institute for Ballet, Intermediate Institute for Antiquities and Museums and Technical Institute for Applied Arts (all located in Damascus).

  • MOE: The Institute for Plastic and Applied Arts Education and Institute for Music Education (exist in all governorates except Rural Damascus).


Important institutes without an academic certificate (it’s considered, to those studying, a preparation level for entering contests of university faculties and high institutes).

The oldest faculty of art in Syria dates back to 1960 (The Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus). In 2006 and 2007 two other faculties of fine arts were established in Aleppo and Swaida respectively.

The establishment of an SMOD branch in Damascus in the late 1990s was one of the pioneering private programs in the country in the field of arts teaching outside official institutions. This step went further by issuing the law pertaining to the organization of Syrian universities in 2006, which allowed the creation of private universities and the establishment of art departments (painting, graphic design, fashion design, internal design, and architecture) in most private universities in Rural Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, and Raqqa.

The usage of modern technologies in education

The usage of computer in education first began in 1991 as planned by MOE to introduce IT to pre-university education (elementary and secondary stages).

Schools in the secondary and basic stages education (2nd cycle) are all provided with computer rooms. Each room is equipped with ten computers, few printers, and all other accessories needed.

In addition, a project to integrate technology into education (World Links Syria) was jointly launched by MOE and the Syrian Trust for Development, which is a vocational development project for teachers to provide them with technology qualification that will be in return passed to their students. Teachers teach students on how to search for sources of information other than school books. This project covered around 60 teachers in 14 schools and these teachers are interacting with more than 5500 students.

A number of IT culture promotion and awareness programs were also launched in the country, most notably the National IT Promotion Program, the International Computer Driving License Program, training programs organized by the Syrian Computer Society and private training centers and institutes and the Integrated Rural Development Program-mobile training.

The number of computers used in schools increased substantially reaching 12.800 by the end of 2002 and many specialized training programs are conducted, in addition to introducing computer to universities and the launching of SHERN (Syrian Higher Education and Research Network) Project.

A national initiative for remote university education was also launched in Syria in May 2002, which gave birth to the Syrian Virtual University (public university).

In the year 2011, the Ministry of Education ordered first-group and second-group teachers to abide by buying laptops for which conditioned loans were granted by the Ministry.

It is worth noting that the issuance of Legislative Decree No. 6 of 2014 stipulated the creation of a general commission concerned with e-schooling in Syria as a legal entity with financial and administrative independence, based in Damascus and accountable to the Minister of Education. The school would provide electronic distance learning with all requirements and education levels from the first grade until high school. The Decree was ratified in a People’s Council session on 13/10/2014.   

Extracurricular cultural programs (outside school)

Many extracurricular programs are offered by MOC to children during the summer break via its cultural centers and children summer clubs (offering language, painting and cultural competitions) are created and many fine and applied arts centers offer various art training courses (painting, sculpture, Islamic calligraphy and pottery), some of these centers sponsor talented children all year, kids also learn playing many types of musical instruments in musical institutes related to the ministry of culture and the youth organization/Al Assad Institutes. 



Chapter published: 09-05-2016