Before the start of the school year, the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) held courses for the faculties of schools in Sanaa to ensure they would impart the militia's ideology to their students.
Some female private school teachers reported that they, their colleagues and supervisors had been required to attend a two-week "educational course" prior to the opening of the registration process for the new school year in late August.
"The school district forced the school’s administration to hold the course and bring in the school’s main staff to attend it," said Haneen Mohammed, a supervisor at a public school in southern Sanaa.
The course focused on the doctrine of Wilayat al-Faqih (Guardianship of the Jurist), which calls for allegiance to Iran's supreme leader, Mohammed said.
Acceptance of this doctrine serves the expansionist interests of the Iranian regime and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The course also focused on the importance of instilling the concept of jihad among students, Mohammed said.
During the course, teachers also were urged to conduct the "cultural activities" ordered by the Houthis in areas under the militia's control, she added.
A teacher could not refuse to attend the course, Mohammed said, as that would expose herself and her school’s administration to financial and administrative harassment by the Houthis.
"I attended the course on a daily basis to protect my source of livelihood, through which I support my family," she said.
The Houthis also "forced some male teachers to attend closed educational courses at locations that were not made known to the public", said Salam Abdul Ghani, who serves as deputy head of a public school in Sanaa.
"Some schools opted to hold the educational courses for their staff in their own buildings," she told Al-Mashareq, noting that families of female teachers refused to allow them to attend closed courses or remain away from home for long periods.
The Houthis' education bureau has appointed a supervisor for every school, she said, adding that any school administration that does not fully co-operate with the militia's demands is punished with fines.
These demands include holding celebrations or events in support of the Houthis' activities, under the heading of supporting the war effort, she said.
Interfering in the educational process
The school district's administration "monitors the performance of schools and top teachers in implementing the militia's directives and instructions", said Mohammed Ahmed, a supervisor at a public school in Sanaa.
These are issued through the education bureau, which is controlled by the Houthis, he told Al-Mashareq.
Over the past two years, private and public schools have received continuous directives on how to steer the educational process, Ahmed said.
Teachers whose performance is not satisfactory to the Houthis are forced to undertake "educational courses", he said.
"A number of my colleagues were kidnapped in front of their schools and their homes without the knowledge of their families to attend these courses at locations that no one knows about," he said.
"No one is allowed to object to the directives of the Houthis," he added.
Political analyst Faisal Ahmed noted that many of these directives are sectarian in nature, telling Al-Mashareq that the cultural activities directed at students "promote a culture of death and not one that glorifies life".
He warned that this type of "education" will not benefit the country, as it will foster violence and "have a serious impact on Yemen's social fabric".