Iraqi Ministry of Education to build 5,000 schools

Boys wait outside their classroom on the first day of school in Baghdad. [Mohammed Ameen / Reuters]

Boys wait outside their classroom on the first day of school in Baghdad. [Mohammed Ameen / Reuters]

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The Iraqi Ministry of Education launched a new project to construct 5,000 primary and secondary schools to ease school building shortages and provide appropriate classrooms, the ministry announced on Wednesday (September 28th).

Education officials said the ministry reached agreements with Korean, Turkish, Italian and local companies to construct the buildings on the basis of deferred payment plans.

"The new school structures will be ideal. The United Nations committee entrusted with following up on education, the Ministry of Planning, and the Iraqi Survey Board have approved the schools' designs," said Fayek Jalal al-Thehaiba, chairman of the committee for monitoring school buildings.

The project will cost $225 million and take two years to complete.

Al-Thehaiba told Mawtani that three designs have been chosen for the buildings. The first has 28 classrooms, the second has 22 classrooms and the third has 18 classrooms.

All the schools have modern laboratories for chemistry and physics, an English language audio laboratory, a cafeteria, fields for football and basketball, and a computer room.

"The new school buildings will provide classroom seats for a large number of students, and will end the double occupancy of school buildings and overcrowding in classrooms, which will positively affect students' performance in school," al-Thehaiba said.

Dr. Alaa Makki, chairman of the Iraqi parliament's education and higher learning committee, said the new buildings would improve the quality of education in Iraq.

"The project will help raise the standing of Iraq from an educational point view, to the third tier within the Arab region in terms of the number of schools, the number of students and the availability of free education," he told Mawtani.

In addition to improving education in Iraq, Makki said building schools would provide numerous jobs for the unemployed.

"These projects could provide thousands of opportunities for teaching, administrative and service staffs, and would also help bring back students who dropped out of school either because of the school being far away from their homes, or due to the deteriorated state of overcrowded schools," he said.

Makki told Mawtani that the parliament would follow up on the project during a discussion of long term plans for the overall development of teaching curricula to ensure it is comparable to the curricula of other countries.

Mohammad al-Marawi, educational supervisor at the directorate of technical education at the ministry, said the government has acted quickly to improve education.

"Only two years ago, we had schools complaining of a drop in the number of students in attendance because of deterioration in the security situation and students' absenteeism. Today, we are building 5,000 new school buildings."

"This is evidence of the extent of progress Iraq is making every day in the area of security," al-Marawi said. "We started to give students lectures on tolerance, compassion, the dangers of extremism and the meaning of life, which we consider more important than the school texts."

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    ضيف عاصم

    2014-8-14

    Thank you for this information.

  • هيثم

    2012-3-13

    The schools in Iraq are in very poor shape. This is reflected on the student directly in the schools of the country, almost entirely due to the small spaces of the schools and small classes assigned to acquire the knowledge. In addition, there is a significant increase in the number of students and the schools are no longer sufficient to absorb the large number of students who come to school. The solution to this matter is to build more new schools with modern construction. The new schools should have an adequate space for all the needs of the students, from the library to the yard to play sports, which is very important. There should also be a music hall. It is present in every country in the world.

  • Richard Sanders

    2012-1-11

    Dear Sirs, I have seen the Master Plan for the Schools proposed, and we have a Low Cost, Fast Build System which would be ideal for what the Iraqi Government is proposing. Could you please put me in touch with the appropriate Minister in the Eduction Department so we can put our proposals to him. Thank you for your assistance in this matter. Kind regards, Richard Sanders

  • بديع خالد

    2011-11-23

    The condition of the schools in Iraq is very poor, and we have been listening to nothing but promises from the time the obsolete regime fell up to now, when the situation of the schools will be changed and will be in better condition, now that modern schools will be built in accordance with the global and typical standards. But the Iraqi student still does not have a sufficient place to sit inside the class, so he is obliged to sit on the floor. When can we manage to let him sit on a seat, so that he can receive the lesson at least in a civilized way? Then, after that, we can think of building more modern and typical schools. I think that all of the contracts which are concerned with this matter are not being implemented, and that this is clearly the great fault of the Iraqi Ministry of Education in particular. I hold it accountable for the difficulties which the Iraqi student is facing. There is a great crowd and a very large number of students in each school. This is because the schools are very few and are not sufficient to take care of the number of available students.

  • Esmail

    2011-11-23

    We ask for the building of schools in all areas, and more than one school in the same region, and for them to be equipped with good teaching cadres, as well as seats and other requirements. This way, our students can receive an education in a civilized way, and the students and their families will be motivated to attend the school, and they will love the school and want to continue their education. However, if the situation remains the same, this will be the reason behind the continuous dropping out of many students, because of its poor and difficult situation. This case, of course, applies to all of the Iraqi governorates and is not restricted to only one governorate, because this tragedy is present everywhere. I wish there would be a real conscious effort in establishing such projects, so as to serve the country and its educational aspect, because it has been suffering for years, and the ones who endure this suffering are the students. We should start with building schools everywhere in Iraq, so as to activate education and knowledge, and also to eliminate illiteracy, which is increasing in great numbers and unreasonably in Iraq. The reason for this is the lack of attention and the lack of provision of the simplest rights of the students to attend an organized school which includes a seat for them and other matters as well. Therefore, the government and the Ministry of Education should really work on this aspect, and not just issue declarations and promises.

  • محمد المشهداني

    2011-11-14

    The educational sector in Iraq needs additional schools to be built, to help accommodate as many students as possible, in order to resume and advance the educational process in Iraq, especially since Iraq is a country that built communities and that helped invent writing. The first letter was written here, in Iraq. As such, we have to realize that this historic country has to be at the academic level it deserves, which is where we wish to see it. This cannot be achieved unless schools are available and spread and based on advanced academic concepts to serve the educational and academic process in Iraq, which is now suffering from a crisis in schools and from conditions that make us feel pain and sadness for the situation of many of our schools that are lacking so much. We see that some areas suffer from primitive schools that are not even fit to contribute to raising students’ awareness, especially in the rural areas whose schools are still built of mud, in the country of science and knowledge, Iraq. This reflects a bitter image of these schools that cause suffering for many students.

  • عبدالله علي مراد

    2011-11-14

    I hope this whole issue of mud schools will be over and done with and that additional schools will be built all over Iraq, because many cities need schools to be built. Although we see the Ministry of Education intensifying its efforts in this aspect, the campaign of building schools that is now taking place in Iraq is still insufficient to accommodate the number of students, which is increasing from one year to the next, particularly with the return of many students back to schools, especially those who had left schools before, because of the financial or security conditions the country has been going through. Many schools are currently working with the system of alternating daytime and afternoon school days to accommodate students and regulate their lives because of the scarcity of schools. Therefore, I think that the Ministry of Education has to redouble its efforts regarding building additional schools. We need more schools, especially in the rural areas, which we think must be given attention in order to give students there the chance to finish their studies and raise their academic and cultural levels.

  • مظفر عبدالحميد

    2011-11-13

    Iraqi schools seem to be from the Stone Age; this is not a joke. If you visit any school now, you’ll find that they lack the most basic requirements of schools. There are not enough classrooms to accommodate the students and there are not enough desks for the students, who are forced to sit on the floor to receive an education. When it comes to the teachers, may God forgive them, they lack experience and they do not take their message seriously, as they perform their jobs as if they are only spending the days to receive salaries at the end of the month, which causes the biggest destruction for education in Iraq. Therefore, the Ministry of Education has to think of finding quick solutions to save the condition of education as soon as possible in Iraq. Building schools is the first point that should be promoted. Also, the currently existing schools should be restored, because they are old. Also, classes should be equipped with enough desks for students. I hope modern and advanced teaching methods will be introduced in the Iraqi schools. If the Ministry of Education is unable to conduct a campaign to build schools all over the country, it should ask for help from the central government or the local governments in the governorates, because this matter is important and vital for everyone. I do not think that any of these entities would hesitate to provide support to the Ministry of Education.

  • بكر عبدالرحمن جبر

    2011-11-12

    My beloved siblings! Iraq is suffering from the crisis of the schools, and this makes us feel pain and grief regarding the situation with our schools, which are lacking a lot. We see that some regions suffer from the primary schools, which are not sufficient to contribute to the process of awakening the student. This is especially true in the countryside, where the schools are being built out of mud, in the country of knowledge and science – Iraq -, and this matter contributes to the bitter reality of these schools, as a lot of students suffer because of the schools’ status. So, I wish to do away with these schools that are built of mud, and to build extra schools all over Iraq. A lot of cities need the establishment of schools, despite the fact that the Ministry of Education is redoubling its efforts regarding that matter. The campaign of building schools that is going on these days in Iraq is not enough to accommodate the increasing number of students year after year, because of the return of a lot of students to their places in schools once again, and especially those who didn’t continue their study because of the security and financial circumstances which our country has been witnessing.

  • اسماعيل

    2011-11-12

    A lot of schools offer classes in the morning and afternoon for the time being, in order to accommodate the students and to help them organize their study life, and because of the small number of schools. I believe that the Ministry of Education should redouble its efforts in building extra schools, as we need more schools, especially in the villages, which we should take care of in order to give a chance to the students there to complete their education and to increase their cultural and educational awareness.

  • صهيب عمر معين

    2011-11-11

    The schools in Iraq are very few, because the country did not witness any significant development in this regard, in order to accommodate the increasing number of the students who exceed the capacity of the existing schools, especially given that many of the schools in Iraq were destroyed during the war in the country, throughout the process of the political change. Furthermore, many of the existing schools are about to collapse, and some of them are too old or partially demolished. We also should remember that many Iraqi families used the schools as shelters after their houses were destroyed during the war. There were a number of schools built using mud, and they were demolished during the war. Such schools were originally unfit for being schools, as they cannot protect the students during the summer or during the winter. Ultimately, this created a crisis in the Iraqi schools, as a result of the overcrowding. Consequently, many of the students sit on the ground. The problem of the lack of schools led to the escalation in the crisis of illiteracy.

  • وجدي

    2011-11-11

    One of the great duties of the Iraqi Ministry of Education is to build schools to accommodate the students in the different stages across the country, to accommodate the increasing number of schoolchildren who need such schools to learn efficiently. This is a necessity in the light of the significant annual increase in the number of the students, in order to keep up with the scientific development in the world. The summary is that we have to build sufficient schools to solve this problem.

  • تحسين عوض

    2011-11-9

    The conditions of schools in Iraq are pathetic and most of them suffer from the lack of the teaching staff. We have to build new schools, whether we accept this or not. In some schools, we have two or three shifts, due to the lack of the schools. The population in Iraq has increased, and the construction of the schools lagged behind the actual needs, like all the other services in Iraq that are either a failure or cause problems. Hence, we need many new schools to teach artistic and Islamic education, given their high importance. In many of the schools some material are not taught such as art and sports,ed given the shorten duration of the school day. It is preferable to grant the contracts of the construction of the new schools to contractors and industrial authorities, like the Ministry of Industry, in order to oversee them implementation of the proper standards.

  • بشير عمر

    2011-11-8

    More schools should be established in Iraq, in all areas and governorates, so that the Iraqi students will have access to school to seek knowledge, and will be able to attain the highest educational standards. This can be achieved by providing the best schools with all the necessary preparations and capacities for our dear children. We have to have good educational staff to offer the best instruction for the children of Iraq. Also, building schools will help to overcome unemployment because we will hire staff and teachers. This will benefit the Iraqis and it will reduce the number of unemployed citizens. The conditions of the Iraqi schools are sad and dreadful. They do not help to establish the educated generation that we hope for. Thus, it is essential to build schools all over the Iraqi area. We have to improve and construct other schools. The reconstruction of schools should occur in all of the Iraqi governorates.

  • قيس العبيدي

    2011-11-4

    Iraq is currently living through a revolution of building and reconstruction. The government is implementing many projects through its ministries, especially service projects, for which citizens wait impatiently. However, I cannot deny that I consider many of the implemented projects to be successful projects that serve Iraqis’ best interest. However, at the same time, we hear a lot about the developmental and constructional plans for which the government allocates billions, most of which serve the services sector. However, I do not think this money is appropriate to the level of achievement we aspire toward in the projects we hear about. Iraqi citizens have always suffered from great shortages in many services, and they are waiting for tangible results from the projects of the ministries, especially within the service projects. However, many sectors have not yet finished what is required of them; the educational sector is still suffering from a shortage of schools; citizens are still suffering from the worsening municipal services, such as paving the streets and improving the sewage networks; many residential areas and public streets suffer from holes and breaks, while the Baghdad municipality, for example, only patches streets with asphalt, which is only a temporary solution that is not enough to help without radical solutions. This is in addition to the health sector and the absence of healthcare services and the basic medications in many hospitals. There are other sectors that also suffer, and the list goes on. All this is due to the ministries’ lagging in implementing the projects they are responsible for. We have heard a lot about electrical production and the building of electricity generators, but electricity has not improved, which is a negative indicator of the failure of many construction projects in Iraq. Therefore, I think that the rate of project implementation and the impact on citizens varies. But most citizens have not felt the effect of these projects, since their situation is still the same and nothing has changed. In spite of that, we hope for the best and we are still waiting for the projects that are still undergoing implementation and are expected to be beneficial to all Iraqis.