Feature: Students Polled on Syrian Conflict: Awareness Paired With Age
Recently, the media has been buzzing about the issues between the Syrian government and their people, but students at M-A seem to be uninformed about worldwide conflicts.
In a recent poll, I interviewed 20 students from each grade and asked them all the same questions relating to the current conflict in Syria. Then, based on their projected understanding, I would categorize their answer into the realm of “correct” or of “incorrect”.
The graphic below displays the relative amount of correct and incorrect answers within each of the four grade levels. The questions and their answers are located below.
These are the questions that were asked, along with what was considered as correct in their response:
Where is Syria?
It is in the Middle East. Syria is in Southwestern Asia, bordered by Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, and Jordan.
What is the major conflict in Syria right now?
Presently in Syria, there is a civil war being fought. Starting as peaceful protests, activists were rising up to challenge the dictatorship. This led to the Syrian government, first, killing activist groups; then, kidnapping, torturing, and, later, murdering activists and their families; and, finally, releasing chemical weapons on their people, killing thousands.
What is the United States doing to deal with this issue?
The answer is the Obama administration wants to release cruise missiles on the Assad regime in order to punish them for allegedly dropping chemical bombs on the Syrian citizens. In addition, there are debates going on about whether or not the United States should ship arms to rebels, take out Assad, launch air-strikes, or hold an Iraq-style ground invasion. All these solutions would most likely lead to a bigger conflict that would be detrimental to the United States. The only other solution that may have positive outcomes would be to have the Assad regime and the rebels strike a peace deal, but as of right now, neither side seems to be willing to agree on anything.
How is Russia involved in this conflict?
The answer is Russia and Syria have been long time allies, and Russia continues to enable Syria by sending the Assad regime weapons in order for them to continue killing civilians.
If you are someone that was interviewed or someone who did not know any of the answers to these questions, here are some resources that will help you sound knowledgeable in front of your parents and teachers.