Iraq and UNESCO launch joint literacy campaign

Iraqi women attend a literacy class in Baghdad. [Mahmoud al-Mulhim/Mawtani]

Iraqi women attend a literacy class in Baghdad. [Mahmoud al-Mulhim/Mawtani]

  • COMMENT 54
  • Print this article
  • increase decrease

The Iraqi Ministry of Education and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) initiated a joint programme last week designed to eradicate adult illiteracy in Iraq.

Under the programme, a UNESCO grant of $1.5 million will be equally distributed among 25 local civil society organisations. The funds will create 125 community centres throughout Iraq to provide basic education and life skills training to 7,000 Iraqi men and women.

The programme "will strengthen the ministry's efforts aimed at reducing rates of illiteracy in the country by half within the framework of a national development plan that continues until the end of 2015," said Adel Abdul Raheem, director general of general education for the ministry.

The 25 organisations slated to receive the UNESCO grant were selected from among 80 non-governmental organisations that were evaluated for several months, Raheem said.

UNESCO will follow up on the selected organisations to ensure they are "setting up the community centres, equipping them with the necessary supplies and requirements to teach reading and writing to those who are illiterate, and training them in life skills and professions," he told Mawtani.

Raheem said the ministry has opened 1,000 literacy centres throughout Iraq since late 2010, benefiting about 100,000 people.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimated that Iraq's adult illiteracy rate was 22% between 2005 and 2010. Women, particularly those in rural areas, represent the largest amount.

"Iraq needs five to 10 years in order to be able to wipe out illiteracy completely," Raheem said.

Waleed Hussein, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, told Mawtani that the new literacy programme "was the result of a series of consultations and bilateral talks the ministry held with the UNESCO office in Iraq with participation from representatives of local civil organisations."

"The programme's goal for this year is the eradication of illiteracy among 7,000 Iraqis between the ages of 15 and 55 of both sexes, as well as re-qualifying their skills," he added.

Hussein said the ministry intends to launch a large-scale literacy campaign before the end of June, adding that 28 billion Iraqi dinars ($24 million) from this year's budget will be allocated to fund the campaign.

"The UNESCO programme comes as part of the partnership and joint strategic co-operation between Iraq and the United Nations to promote education among Iraqis," Adel Shershab, chairman of the parliamentary committee on education, told Mawtani.

Shershab underscored "Iraq's need for consultations and technical expertise provided by [UNESCO] in this field."






    The most dangerous lesion on different nations is illiteracy. The Iraqi government is serious about eradicating illiteracy, but we must all help by helping illiterate people join illiteracy eradication centers

  • ali


    As long as the Iraqi people still believe in sectarianism, then they are illiterate in the true sense of the word. It is better to educate the people about the meanings of unity and to avoid involvement in the political foreign agendas that support sectarianism.

  • حليمة حميدالنعيمي


    Illiteracy is one of the serious diseases that hit societies. It can rot the body of the nation, the nation of Iqra', i.e. the Muslim nation. I hope the brothers who are responsible for this program will take a serious stand, and I hope the initiative won't get politicized. I hope this campaign will go the right way. O God, give success to everyone who wants goodness for our country without seeking personal gains or favoritism. My regards and thanks for giving us the chance to write to you.

  • hamzah


    The Arab countries have to stand beside Iraq, and this is because of the precarious economic situation. And the mosques should be used to teach the Quran, and to spread religious education by the memorization of the Noble Quran. This is the first step in eradicating illiteracy, as Quranic education will teach reading and writing and the basics of the Arabic language, in addition to developing this subject in the schools and universities, and encouraging the students to learn by developing the schools as well as the learning methods, and holding examinations for the teaching staff in order make the students like their studies. Unfortunately, the teaching programs are of poor quality in the various Arab countries, which make studying unbearable to the students. We have to develop education, and we should resort to modern teaching methods, which have already been implemented in most of the Gulf states with amazing success in terms of the students’ comprehension and assimilation. Education should be merged with entertainment. We have to become advanced in the methods of teaching, as in the European countries we find that from the first year they keep track of which area the student has a particular preference for so that he would study that field for the rest of his life. We find that the Europeans are more proficient than us in many areas, not because they are better, but instead it is because they allow every person the opportunity to become creative in the area that they have a preference for. For instance, if someone wants to become a doctor, they help him by providing the appropriate educational material for that particular field of study or others. But in the Arab countries, we find that the student learns all the subjects, and he is bored to the point that he hates these subjects, and he only passes in those subjects so that he can move on to the next year, without achieving excellence or being creative. We find that every person is in the wrong place. The Iraqi government should benefit from pedagogic expertise and choose what is useful and beneficial, and it should employ competent individuals that will be in charge of educating our sons and daughters, as they are the future generation to whom we will pass on the baton for our progeny.

  • فاروق حماد


    As far as I am concerned, the solution lies in the provision of special schools for the illiterate in Iraq. In addition, we should conduct a campaign to follow up those who have missed their schools and the children who have not been registered by their parents at schools. Besides, we have to allocate incentives until all the eligible children are registered, each according to his legal age. Therefore, we need a real campaign to promote this miserable reality of the country, especially with the incredible growth rate of illiterate people. In fact, Iraq was used to having no illiterate people. However, due to the difficult circumstances and the deteriorated conditions experienced by Iraq over more than twenty years, given that we have been suffering from many problems, our current generations have a high rate of illiterates. This can also be attributed to the lack of follow up and to the misperception of the seriousness of this issue. As a matter of fact, we have to establish private schools, promote the spread of the idea of attending these schools and allocate incentives which would play an important role in urging a lot of the illiterates to attend schools.

  • لقمان حسين


    Illiteracy in Iraq has become an issue that we have to think about. I think that the duty of the Iraqi Government and the duty of the Iraqi Ministry of Education are to provide an important thing for all the people who need education. As far as I am concerned, the duty of every person and every uneducated human being is to acquire all of the things he needs of education. I think that it is the duty of the government to provide all the needs of every illiterate Iraqi citizen, who needs a style of education. The problem of illiteracy is very important and we must find a solution for it. That problem must be solved and education in Iraq must be on the way towards improvement. Actually, illiteracy is not something shameful, but the Iraqi citizen must be among the intellectuals and the Iraqi people are always intellectuals. The Iraqi intellectual must have a significant role in rebuilding Iraq and the Iraqis. Iraq needs reconstruction and construction, culture and interest in Iraq and the Iraqi citizens.

  • عبدالفتاح


    We can eliminate illiteracy in Iraq.

  • منال رجب


    The problem of illiteracy in Iraq is a very serious problem but not an old problem. It is known that Iraq was among the countries that gave the most attention to her children and that illiteracy among the Iraqis was close to zero in the eighties of the last century, but with the entry wars in Iraq, especially the second Gulf War, its invasion of the territory of Kuwait, the destruction of the Iraqi army at the hands of the Americans later in the year 90/91 and the completion by the Americans of the war in 2003, in the beginning of this century: all of this led to the destruction of Iraq, the destruction of its national tissue, and the destruction of infrastructure, whether educational, residential or institutional, and thus Iraq has become retarded in almost everything. The educational process has become very difficult due to the unstable security and economic conditions, which Iraq is going though and illiteracy has become rampant among the Iraqi people. According to official statistics, the percentage of illiteracy among the Iraqi people has even surpassed the limit of 35%, which is a very large number; the majority of these illiterate people are young and those born after the Gulf War of 91.

  • أمجد محي الدين


    It is necessary to erase illiteracy; the studies have proved that the illiterate person is the weak link in the chain of complete development. Erasing illiteracy is not only the concern of the teachers and ministers of education. It is an important issue for the ministers of agriculture and industry, and for officials and citizens responsible for planning the developmental and social progress in their countries. Illiteracy exists everywhere; it has become the problem of today. At the same time, many countries have started their programs to erase illiteracy in a very strong way. These programs have achieved a lot of success in many countries. Iraq has to start applying these programs and appropriating a budget to fund this project. The country has to encourage the applicants to come to the centers and provide places for education that will suit the age of the applicants and skilled teachers, whose ages are close to the ages of the learners, so that they can understand them and help them learn. The country has to provide modern methods and teaching programs to provide the biggest percentage of knowledge for them. The governments have to start providing these centers very soon. The Arab countries have to support Iraq because of the unstable economic situation. Iraq has to use mosques to teach the Holy Qur'an and to provide financial incentives to encourage people to memorize the Holy Qur'an; it is a step on the path of erasing illiteracy.

  • ابو افراح


    To deal with the ignorance that is spread among the Iraqi people, the government should carry out the following: First, it should try to restore security as much as possible, because it is the basic element, and it should try to amend the economic status of the Iraqis so that the children could be free to get an education. The education in Iraq should be for free and should not have a cost at all. Moreover, the country should try to send educational missions to the Arab and foreign countries, so as to raise up children who can keep up with the revolution taking place in the field of science and education in the world. Also, the state should pay attention to those who have lost the education process and who have grown old; the state should provide them classes to eliminate their illiteracy and to encourage and help them toward that goal.

  • عبدالله سعيد


    It is very necessary that the government should first and before anything else, work in order to contribute to the education of the people through the provision of institutes and schools, and places that should be created in order to teach many of those who left their studies so they could continue their lives because they were busy with the difficult conditions of life as well as moving to work in order to provide a living. For this reason, we see that the percentage of illiteracy has risen to a very high level and we must give attention to this issue because it will be a reason for the future non-development of the country that will become a non-educated and non-conscious country because knowledge is a very important thing and education is something very necessary.

  • حيدر سلمان


    To eliminate illiteracy in Iraq, the government must improve and develop education as well as encourage the learner to turn to the schools and private centers of education and give attention to improving the teaching staff. They must provide the means of encouragement for the superior students, preferably cash prizes in addition to entertainment programs. If we want to keep up with this era by adding the means of electronic display, the information goes to the mind better than the traditional explanation because it includes some entertainment. The illiteracy rate rises either due to poverty or due to the hatred by the pupils of the school. If we make the student love the school, then we will eliminate the proportion of 35% of the rates of illiteracy and if the government ensures the poor children, we will eliminate the remaining 40% and 25% that remained. This is the ratio of the encouragement of these governments to education through financial awards for outstanding students by providing job opportunities for the graduates from the universities and other education rehabilitation centers, as well as the diversification of education by providing industrial and agricultural education so that the worker in that field would be educated. If a professional is educated, he can develop his field in a scientifically sound manner. However, if he is not educated, he can innovate but with errors. It would not work in a world without knowledge. These are some ways through which we can find solutions to them to eliminate illiteracy not only in Iraq but also all over the world.

  • ياسر عباس


    I support the idea of increased efforts by the government and the agencies concerned with this subject with regard to monitoring the issue of illiteracy in Iraq, and working on eradicating this ailment so that our country can get rid of it, which is in the interest of the general public.

  • عامر نصيف


    The increasing number of illiterate people in Iraq has reached enormous proportions, and it cannot be overlooked. Illiteracy is a disease that represents a threat to nations and societies, and is a threat to their development and progress. As such, it is imperative to fight illiteracy in a more effective manner than is currently being done in Iraq. I believe that the role played by educational institutions in this respect, in order to enhance the education level and eradicate illiteracy, can be achieved by means of the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Education and civil society organizations in launching educational courses for those that cannot read or write. Also, these courses should be held on a wide scale, and they should not be limited to the cities only, but instead they should be extended to the villages and rural areas as well, and they should include the largest number of people possible among those that want to take such educational courses. Many Iraqis today are in need of helping themselves out of their illiteracy and improving their educational level, for those among them that were not lucky enough to complete their education for whatever reasons. As such, I think that considerable material support should be provided for such campaigns in order to ensure its smooth operation, and so that the literacy campaign in Iraq will not be limited to one or two courses, only to be shut down after that, as if they were launched as part of an advertising campaign. Instead, the continuation of such educational courses will reduce the phenomenon of illiteracy that has become widespread in Iraq. Additionally, the relevant agencies have a more important responsibility in the field of preparing the relevant personnel who are knowledgeable about how to deal with illiterate people in order to try to get accustomed to them and their conditions, and to deal with this group in a systematic way so as to produce good results that will help lower the illiteracy rate in Iraq. The literacy program is one of the important and vital programs that need to continue all year long. The media should also play their part in fighting illiteracy and promoting such courses and encouraging people to join them, and explaining their benefits to the uneducated, and how they will constitute a plus and a brighter aspect in their lives.

  • راغب الجوراني


    All countries of the world put out plans and programs to eliminate the phenomenon of illiteracy and seek seriously to solve this dangerous issue. The problem of illiteracy in Iraq is one of the main problems that prevent the majority of the society from realizing the reality of the absent culture that expresses its hopes. This problem increased day after another until it became a historic witness to the inability of the traditional educational means to confront it. However, illiteracy itself was eliminated in the third-world countries and many symposiums and conferences were held to discuss this issue through cooperation between the Awareness and Human Development Network and the Mesopotamia Pearl Intuition and other organizations to activate the program of elimination of illiteracy and promotion of the peace and democracy values in addition to the national education, human and citizenship rights. To study the details of this cultural phenomenon which became remarkably rampant in the Iraqi society. the most important suggestions to improve the educational reality and activate the compulsory education law as well as establishing a supreme national authority to fix the phenomenon of illiteracy in Iraq and to exert pressures on the government, particularly the educational institutions, to work hard to eliminate illiteracy, develop the education, provide school requirements and activate the school cultural, artistic and sports activities, particularly in the villages and the rural areas. We stress the importance of utilizing the summer vacation in opening centers for teaching learning and reading, social acculturation, and provision of the incentives of the educational cadres. We also call for training the academic cadres and getting rid of the corrupt people in this vital sector. The schools in Iraq, particularly in the villages and the rural areas, need rehabilitation. Likewise, the curricula need more attention and interest in the applied aspects. The government should improve the living conditions of the citizens through providing jobs and eliminating unemployment. This contributes to creating the incentives that help in avoiding leaving study for educational reasons. Finally, there is a necessity for enlightening society through continuing the activities of the education campaign by the NGO’s and coordination with the mass media and adoption of development project to solve the phenomenon of illiteracy.

  • كامل محمد شهاب


    In the light of the number that were announced by the Iraqi Ministry of planning, about more than 8 million Iraqis who do not know reading or writing, we can certainly declare that we are about to witness an educational disaster in our country.

  • يعقوب محمد


    We must work to establish a mobile and fixed libraries in the cities and the places where crowds gather, to provide material and moral incentives for those who want to be free from illiteracy, adults and children. We need to spread cultural awareness among all members of the society, and deepen the values of science and scientific and technical research in the souls of all people, especially researchers and their official organs. This is done through the development of plans for individuals to raise their scientific method of thinking, and their role in the development of life and for the renaissance of the nation.

  • ليون


    There are solutions for the illiteracy problem in Iraq and the Iraqi government should do its best to provide seats and provide important places and a lot of the school requirements. In my opinion, education is very important and we should do our best to provide Iraqis with all they need. The education issue in Iraq is a very important matter and it should be like that. In my opinion, the problem needs appropriate conditions and there should be planned schemes and measures so as to solve those problems as soon as possible. God willing, the education issue will improve in Iraq and all matters will better. I pray for Almighty God to make Iraq better than before and I wish that the Iraqi government would provide services to the Iraqis so as to solve all that the Iraqi citizen needs. I wish that the illiteracy issue will be solved in Iraq and that Iraqis will become educated people and have their status among the countries and God willing, all the goodness and blessings, Amen.

  • رجب راضي


    In order to fight illiteracy we must know its reasons. The reasons for illiteracy in the Arab world are many, such as poverty, lack of educational advancement, and education fees. The government should investigate the social situation of the student and provide sponsorship and financial aid for infant students. Otherwise his family will be forced to take him out of school in order to work. Free books should be provided. Poor students should be exempted from education fees and stationery provided for them. Regarding educational development, it is clear that education is falling behind and does not go along with this century. The curriculum is too big and there is no use of it for students. Countries should develop their curricula for the students to get the information easily. Additionally, modern technology should be used to make the students more eager to learn. Student escape from schools is a strong reason for illiteracy in the world. Governments should establish modern centers with all equipments to accept all ages and make encouragement rewards for successors to encourage illiterate student to come. Media should be used to make people aware about the importance of education and how the educated have more chances in different fields. These are some solutions which can solve illiteracy.

  • عبدالله عاصم


    I think that working on the elimination of illiteracy in Iraq requires the greatest efforts by the Ministry of Education; first, for being the ministry that is primarily concerned with this issue. Combating illiteracy in Iraq must be done in a planned way, and creating an appropriate atmosphere for such an important thing, through the creation of all supplies that can contribute to the success of this pioneering experiment in Iraq. This is especially with the spread of illiteracy in our country in a considerable way. We can only confront it in order to reduce the rates of the illiterates, particularly among the young men and women. That is because many of these groups suffer from illiteracy and many of these groups left school because of security and living conditions experienced by our country in the past years. Therefore, I'm in favor of the Ministry of Education preparing for this campaign and declaring a public alarm for their cadres, who will be concerned with this national task. It will help in the advancement of Iraqi society, at a time when we need to advance the scientific process that Iraq wants to start from the paradigm shift which it will make among the illiterates. Therefore, we must allocate teaching cadres and make every effort on the material side to make this pioneering experiment succeed. It will end the issue of illiteracy in Iraq, and also, we must create academic centers which can accommodate those who wish to engage in the battle of the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy. Thus, the success of this experiment will be a success for the entire Iraqi society, which will get rid of the greatest scourge that threatens it, the scourge of illiteracy.

  • وئام علي خضر


    The Iraqi government needs to take various actions, most notably improving the living, security and political conditions that the Iraqi society suffers from. This was the major reason behind the spread of the phenomenon of illiteracy. It also needs to pay attention to schools and the building of the greatest number of schools, so that they would accommodate all of the students. It should also deal with the shortage of teachers, to meet the needs of the schools in terms of teaching staff. Also, the state should formulate laws and regulations relating to eradicating illiteracy through the creation of each respective requirement relating to the allocation of literacy centers throughout the country. It should furnish them, allocate teaching cadres for them and determine the age groups covered by the literacy campaign, particularly in villages and rural areas, where there are large numbers of uneducated people. In addition, there should be educational bodies to operate with the help of the Iraqi ministry, to work with significant efforts to reduce this phenomenon. There should also be civil society organizations, in order to make a contribution to reducing the phenomenon of illiteracy. This phenomenon is widespread in Iraq again, after it had become free of illiteracy previously. Thus, all the good efforts should combine to free Iraq from this problem and rebuild its people, so they can enjoy science and knowledge through continuing education, which is one of the necessities of life.

  • حيدر النواس


    Iraq has been a country of civilizations and prosperity for millennia. It taught humanity the first alphabet for reading and writing. But today, under the current circumstances faced by the Iraqi people, it is suffering from illiteracy and underdevelopment in a scary and sad way, as the proportion of illiterate people among the Iraqi people has risen to nearly five million illiterate people. This figure is scary, especially as we live in the twenty-first century, in which most countries have completely gotten past the problem of illiteracy. Therefore, the duty of the Iraqi state now is to work with all seriousness and determination to combat the problem of illiteracy in the country, and to save the people from this dangerous disease. This would be counter-productive to the future of the country in all respects, because a country where illiteracy is widespread will be undoubtedly one of the underdeveloped countries, dominated by ignorance and misguidance.

  • نور


    Let's not forget that the media plays a big role in this matter. Also, the teachers and educators can go to the mosques and places of worship, for example, to educate anyone who wants to come and get an education. This way, we will help as many as possible of the seekers of knowledge and those who want to read and write. These are the best solutions that can be given to the citizens who need science. Helping them is a duty that has to be fulfilled by everybody, because it would allow them to enjoy happiness and joy. They are sad, due to the harsh and painful circumstances that have affected everybody. Helping them is beautiful, as it achieves affinity and fondness among the people of Iraq. There has to be serious and real cooperation; everybody has to collaborate, so that God will be content with us and with each person who loves to help people out and do goodness to them.

  • جبار السماوي


    We hope to end illiteracy and turn this page before it gets to a point where we lose control over the situation, and consequently this will affect our country, which is witnessing increasing developments and achievements, so that the most important of all achievements can be added to its portfolio, which is the eradication of illiteracy in a country that taught humanity its first letters.

  • مراد


    I have a really great idea. The educated Iraqis can teach the uneducated ones how to read and write. Those who are learning can collect a small sum of money from each of them and give it as a present to the educated man or woman who teaches them. The well-to-do may even provide some of the needs for education, so as to teach this class of Iraqis. The Iraqi people are honest and patriotic, and helping other is really good. I pray to God Almighty to bless Iraq and the Iraqis with goodness and success, God willing. Amen, O Lord of the Worlds. God willing, this program will provide good chances to illiterate people, so that they can become educated and respected. Yet, we have to say that this kind of work is the duty of the Iraqi government, which has to cooperate with the Iraqis so that they will become respected. The Arab nations are no better than Iraq and the Iraqis; on the contrary, the Iraqis are the best people. I pray to God Almighty to protect Iraq and the Iraqis. I pray that things will be for the best. God willing, Iraqis will be blessed with goodness. Amen, O Lord of the Worlds.

  • عماد جمال


    For the eradication of illiteracy in Iraq, the government must improve and develop education and encourage the learners to go to schools and special centers of education, and pay attention to the improvement of the teachers. They must offer means for encouraging the excelling students, preferably financial awards as well as entertainment programs if we want to keep up with this era, and adding electronic presentation. The displayed information reaches the mind better than the traditional explanation because it is associated with some entertainment as the illiteracy rate increases because of the poverty or because of the students’ hatred for school. If we make the student like the school, then we will eradicate over 35% of illiteracy. If the government sponsors the poor children, then we would be eradicating 40%. As for the remaining 25%, this would be a percentage encouraged by the government to education through financial awards to the excelling students or by providing job opportunities for graduates from universities and other education rehabilitation centers, and also diversifying the education by providing industrial and agricultural courses so that the worker in that field would be educated. If the professional is educated, he can bring development in a scientific and sound way. However, if he is not educated, he can be creative but with errors. However, the world would not work without the educated people. These are some ways through which we can find solutions to eradicate illiteracy not only in Iraq but the whole world.

  • منال رجب


    Man has to learn how to read and write, because it is essential in his life. So, the government and the authorities must make education available to everyone. There must be various places where people can be encouraged to go and learn. All the people must work together to help those who can't read or write, to help them to learn correctly and know how to spell the words right. This is our duty, but the media has to play its big role in teaching them reading and writing, so the institutions and schools that are opened all the time must play their part. These people must be encouraged and attracted to go and teach those people whose conditions deprived them from learning, due to their hard life and difficult conditions. One of these conditions is unemployment, which deprived all the people of their most basic rights, which is education and learning that costs a lot. That's why we see many children who couldn't enroll in schools, because their parents haven't got enough money that might help them enable their children to enroll in schools. Add to this the bad conditions and terrorist attacks that caused many students to abandon schools as a result of being terrified and frightened; furthermore, schools are far away and parents are afraid to send them to these schools, as they don't want to endanger their lives.

  • ahmed


    It is important to take care of all who need education and who desire to resume their studies. We must end illiteracy, because everyone must learn; the government must support these projects, in addition to combining all efforts to help the illiterates, to teach them how to read and write, and to help them to learn properly. Illiteracy is a serious problem and people feel embarrassed due to this state of ignorance. Therefore, it must be done away with by means of perseverance, patience and insisting on learning, no matter what is going on around him. The present age witnesses development, improvement and entering new scientific eras. It is essential to move beyond the stage of illiteracy. Many countries have crossed this stage many years ago. The situations in Iraq have increased the number of the illiterates who were unable to learn how to read and write. We must cooperate in order to help the illiterates and the ones who can't read or write and help them improve; we must contribute and share in their education, and move them from a deteriorated state to a better life, through which they can feel happy and proud of themselves.

  • نوار عباس


    I suggest that the concerned authorities in the Ministry of Education should coordinate together and with the international parties, particularly UNESCO, in order to work on unifying the visions in dealing with illiteracy. The latter has currently spread in Iraq after it had been completely free of it. In fact, the country is facing an increasing number of children who are dropping out of school, old illiterate people, particularly in rural areas, the youth and the adults, men and women. Thus, Iraq currently has a desperate need to open literacy centers in accordance with the standards adopted by the Iraqi Ministry of Education, the curricula and the Ministry’s assessment methods. Iraq also needs to activate the international meetings and periodic meetings between the Ministry and the Directorates General for Education on the one hand, and between civil society organizations on the other hand. In addition, the Ministry of Education should reassess the literacy curricula in accordance with the public objectives and unify the systems and policies at the State level. It should also start an intervention plan that takes into consideration all the program clauses in terms of curricula, teachers, the operational procedures, policies, experience exchange and field visits with the support and supervision from the Office of UNESCO.

  • زاز


    Literacy programs are one of the important and necessary programs which should continue all through the year. The media should also carry out its role in combating illiteracy, promoting such sessions, encouraging adherence to them and working on explaining their benefits for the uneducated people. This will represent an additional and luminous point in their lives. Thus, I personally call on the Government and the institutions which are concerned with this issue, namely following up illiteracy in Iraq and working on eradicating this epidemic from our country for the sake of the public interest.

  • قادر محسن جابر


    The number of illiterate people in Iraq has reached a very high rate. In fact, illiteracy is a scourge that is threatening countries and communities as well as development and progress. Thus, it is necessary to combat it on a larger scale than it is now in Iraq. As far as I am concerned, the role of the educational institutions in this respect to advance the educational level and eradicate illiteracy can be achieved through the joint efforts of the Ministry of Education and the institutions of the Civil Society. For instance, this can be achieved through starting educational sessions for those who do not know reading and writing. We should also intensify such sessions, which should not be confined to cities. They should rather reach the villages and the countryside and reach the largest possible number of people who long to participate in these educational sessions. In fact, today a lot of Iraqis need to get rid of their illiteracy and to raise their educational level which they have not been lucky to complete earlier, perhaps because of the conditions or something like that. Thus, I believe that we have to provide a lot of material support for such campaigns so that they will follow a streamline. In fact, the program of fighting illiteracy in Iraq should not be confined to one or two sessions as if they are carried out for the sake of publicity, given that the continuation of such educational sessions will eradicate the illiteracy which is spread in Iraq. In addition to that, the specialized institutions are burdened with preparing the experienced specialized cadres in the field of dealing with the illiterate in an attempt to cope with them and their conditions and to deal with this social class in an objective way. The latter would offer good results which would contribute to reducing the illiteracy rate in Iraq.

  • سندباد


    Read what the first verse in the Holy Quran is that descended upon the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Education makes an authentic person, and an essential human needs approval from the divine religions. Illiteracy hinders the advancement of the individual and disrupts the development of society in all areas, and stands as a barrier for achieving the goals of the individual and the society. It also prevents a lot of the members of the modern community from participation in managing their country, as well as the high rates of illiteracy and the numbers of illiterate people in Iraq markedly in the recent years, which formed a significant threat to the process of development, progress and construction of the country. It is a real problem contributing to the obstruction of the development processes. The fact that the educational system in Iraq was affected dramatically because of the country being subjected for several years to war which led to the high rates of illiteracy in the country, the security failure and the continuing violence make the parents refrain from sending their children to schools. Moreover, most children work to support their families and increase the income. The weak infrastructure services and destruction of most schools made the classrooms overcrowded with students as well as many other things. This certainly represents a great challenge for the Iraqi Government to meet these challenges.

  • اسعد احمد


    The spread of illiteracy, poverty, living situation, poor educational services, and inactivity of the compulsory education laws, along with the security conditions during the previous years, resulted in the leakage of students from schools, expansion of this phenomenon, and its spread in some areas. However, the return of stability and building hundreds of schools in various parts of the country, especially the remote ones, provided the opportunity for dropouts to return to school in addition to obliging the parents to register their children in schools to avoid legal sanctions, as well as granting the graduates of literacy centers with incentives such as giving them loans and including them in the appointment in the governmental departments, and giving them work.

  • حسان فارس


    For the eradication of illiteracy in Iraq, the Government must improve and develop education and encourage the learner to go to schools and special centers of education, and give attention to the improvement of the teachers. They must offer encouraging means for the excelling students that should preferably be financial awards as well as entertainment programs, and, if we want to keep up with this era, by adding the electronic presentation. The displayed information reaches the mind better than the traditional explanation because it is associated with some entertainment, as the illiteracy rate increases because of the poverty or because of the students’ hatred for school. If we make the student like the school, then we will eradicate over 35% of illiteracy rates. If the Government sponsors the poor children, then we would be eradicating 40%. As for the remaining 25%, this would be an encouraging percentage by the governments to provide education, through financial Awards, to the excelling students or by providing jobs opportunities for graduates from universities and other education rehabilitation centers, and also diversifying education by providing the industrial and agricultural programs so that the worker in that field would be educated. If the professional is educated he can bring development in a scientific, sound way, but if he is not educated, he can be creative but make errors, However, the world will not work without the educated people. These are some ways through which we can find solutions to eradicate illiteracy not only in Iraq but in the whole world.

  • زكي يوسف


    The most important factor that will lead to the decline of illiteracy in Iraq is to secure an economic recovery which could improve the life of Iraqi families. The latter should be free of poverty and need, which are the indicators of danger that threaten the new generations with losses. On the other hand, the economic difficulties would create some kind of instability and continued problems in the country. This situation would lead to the inability of people to send their children to schools and the subsequent problem of dropping out of school. Indeed, children will tend to leave school in order to make a living and contribute to raising the living standards of their families which are exhausted by poverty and hunger. This tendency has been depriving children of their studies. At the same time, children are denied their right to lead a normal childhood where they should receive care and learning in schools. Thus, the future generations are exposed to the risk of illiteracy as well as hostility and hatred towards some of the social strata. In fact, deprivation makes children of the same society a mixture of incompatible and non-homogeneous individuals who nurture hateful ideas. Such a situation leads to the decline of the country and halts the development process. For this reason some people are seeking to thwart the experiences of development and sophistication that the country wants to establish. These people are behaving as such out of hatred and grudges towards others because of their deprivation and need. Indeed, this category is not really loyal to the nation because they carry the ideas of revenge on society as a result of poverty, need and the deprivation of schooling.

  • ياسين فتاح


    We all know that illiteracy is one of the diseases and pests that negatively affect society. Iraq is among the countries that has a high illiteracy rate owing to circumstances that this country had undergone for decades which affected many Iraqi families so that their children were forced to leave their schools because of the financial conditions that they experienced. Therefore, the risk of illiteracy is very large and we should work to end the problem of illiteracy in Iraq. I see that we can eliminate unemployment through the re-opening of schools first and the follow-up of the negligent students on performance. There must also be an enactment of laws that will strengthen the role of campaigns to eradicate illiteracy in Iraq and work to cooperate with all the Iraqi families to return their children to schools compulsorily, in addition to providing all kinds of financial support by the government to support the literacy eradication programs by Iraq. However, the role of the civil society organizations and organizations dealing with education and with combating illiteracy in Iraq, and I agree with with the idea that the educational programs should be intensified through the opening of education and training courses that get the largest number of uneducated people enrolled in them. I also think that the media has a major role in raising the awareness by urging the illiterate people to attend educational sessions that are open occasionally. I wish that these sessions could be year-round for the continuity of literacy programs in Iraq and gradually eliminate illiteracy finally and dispose of it from our country. The media play a major role whether in terms of advertising programs and the opening of a TV channel involved in the fight against illiteracy, through programs and teaching seminars it broadcasts which would be dealing solely with the uneducated people, because such a thing is very important. Also, there must be an issuance of regulations and laws that prevent the participation of children in any work or occupations because many of our children today go to work to help their families with the expense of going to schools and acquiring knowledge that they left. These families must be provided with a subsidy to guarantee the return of their children to school.

  • بشير عبد الصاحب


    It is very crucial to eradicate illiteracy in Iraq because Iraq today witnesses a completely different situation and all its citizens must be educated and informed about the educational issue and should be literate. This can be through paving the way for the many citizens who seek to acquire knowledge, reading and writing and have the ability to be educated. Thus, the Government should open special institutions where pedagogic cadres are provided of teachers trying to teach people who can't read and write, and also through the provision of books that contribute to the teaching of them, and promotional efforts that have a very large role, in that there would be a very large turnout by illiterates to seek education whether they were old or young, girls or boys, or even children who cannot afford to pay for State schools. For this reason, it is very necessary to open educational institutions that contribute to many segments that need education that would be free, so that everyone could enroll and go to this area to eradicate illiteracy that existed in Iraq, and everyone would be literate and hold diplomas and the Government should allocate amounts of money that contribute to the eradication of illiteracy in Iraq.

  • عبدالسلام


    It is very sad for me to read in the news the discovery of the Ministry of Planning that the illiteracy rates among the youth in Iraq are sorrowful because it may reach 40%. One of the causes of this phenomenon is the lack of the awareness of the family regarding the necessity of the education of their children in addition to the difficult and unstable living, security, and political conditions that were witnessed in the Iraqi society in the recent period. The causes also include the lack of nearby schools and a number of the teachers after some of them left the country. Furthermore, about 22.9% of the population is below the poverty line according to the latest statistics and reports that were prepared by the Iraqi Central Authority for Statistics. Hence, it has become necessary for the State to work on alleviating this percentage and getting the civil society organizations involved to fight this phenomenon, especially given that Iraq announced in 1990 that illiteracy has been eliminated.

  • حازم سدير


    We have to support the national non-governmental organizations and the government of Iraq in the implementation and evaluation of effective programs to eliminate illiteracy. We have to increase the access to the elimination of illiteracy and the quality of the irregular education by determining the effective related systems.

  • يونس عبد الرضا


    Elimination of illiteracy in Iraq requires some precautions in order to achieve the purpose of the political reform in the country. The political reform in Iraq is the only way out for the reforms. As for the rest of the fields, we cannot build a high multi-floor building without laying the foundations. Currently, Iraq is in a state of the political tensions and administrative corruption. So, it is a wonder how a state that witnesses such tensions and such a deteriorated security state could focus on internal reforms in the judiciary and elimination of illiteracy. There are priorities that must take precedence because illiteracy is a secondary problem in comparison with the other problems and it must be solved, but it is closely connected with the political and security state in Iraq. If the Iraqi people managed to eliminate the administrative corruption and make the government good, Iraq could consider the other secondary problem to eliminate them and develop what was neglected and damaged over the past period. Illiteracy is not a difficult problem and it can easily be solved, but society is responsible for making it a serious problem. However, the fact is that ending such problems is easy for any state that is ruled fairly and according to a modern thought, side by side with the presence of the youth and their contribution and love for developing Iraq and liberating it from the illiteracy. When we secure these requirements, our hope would turn into a fact on the ground. Nevertheless, how can we demand the youth to work on achieving this dream, while their country is under intellectual and political occupation by the USA as well as the corrupt officials and politicians? Hence, the time for working on the elimination of illiteracy has not come to Iraq because the efforts to eliminate it will be difficult or even impossible in its political situation. I do not think that the USA will allow them because it does not want the Arab states to make progress so as not to affect its interests in these States.

  • فاضل بشير


    First, we must know what situation the Republic of Iraq has reached in terms of the percentage of illiteracy. It is known that the rate of illiteracy in Iraq has increased greatly, especially after the Second Gulf War on Iraq. The ratio has approached, according to the latest official statistics and indicators in Iraq, 35% of the population, mostly children, born after the Second Gulf War. This was after the percentage of illiteracy in Iraq before this above-mentioned date approached zero. However, it was known that Iraq was one of the countries of the Arab States and the world paying attention to education. Also, the Iraqi Government must invest the Iraqi oil funds. Now, the Republic of Iraq produces nearly three million barrels of oil or more daily, and it exports almost 2 and a half million barrels per day. Therefore, everyone calls on Iraq to invest this money on education in particular, the investment in building infrastructure, especially related to the educational process including schools, universities, research centers, and others. Also, the officials assigned this issue in Iraq, and I mean those who are responsible for Iraq and the educational process in particulars, must pay attention to the teachers and students from all aspects whether physical or moral, so that they can improve the educational process and eradicate illiteracy in Iraq.

  • Khm


    God willing, the process of erasing illiteracy will develop. I think it is the duty of every illiterate person to go and register himself to get an education, in order to be a respectable citizen. He has to work hard and not let things go the way some people want. He has to change for the better and progress. God is the Bestower and the Generous. God willing, Iraq will be better than the way it used to be. May God save Iraq!

  • ارشد حسين


    The Iraqi citizen who did not get an education either lives in the village away from schools, or he does not have enough money to get an education. He can also be one of those who were forced to leave school by their parents to be sent to work. This is a common thing, but we have to realize that education in Iraq is important, but what is even more important is erasing illiteracy. The illiterate people understand and realize what they want. They can learn quickly. We have to provide a free education for them, so that we give a chance to the people who do not have the money to learn and get an education instead of getting carried away by a bad activity or being influenced by bad people.

  • رقيب


    There are several ways to erase illiteracy; the most important thing is that the illiterate citizen - who does not read, write or both - wants to change. In order to help the illiterate to study, first we need to open centers for them and provide everything that they need. I think this is very easy and it will not cost the Iraqi government or the Ministry of Education anything. All the ministry has to do is conduct specialized classes so that they will attend, just like when the child goes to the school for the first time. It is very important; the Iraqi citizen has to be an example of an educated person. He has to do everything in order to improve his economic situation. He has to work as much as he can to improve and work hard to develop. Erasing illiteracy is very important; I am one of the people who are most supportive of this aim, because if we want to make Iraqis educated, we have to erase illiteracy. We have to help the illiterates and provide the proper conditions for them to do their best in order to develop.

  • صفوت حسين


    The topic might be fine if the content was real as the interest in the non-educated and illiterate, especially the young people and older people. It is a nice gesture by the government, the Ministry of Education and local governments in the provinces because we will, with such positive educational plans, contribute to bringing these elements back into existence, lifting them out of the situation of loss and walking in a spiral circle as a result of not learning to read and write before, or even those who have a very limited education. They are considered semi-literate and they need to go to the schools of literacy to develop their language skills in reading, writing and also in terms of their education in other skills acquired through workshops that are held in these schools that arise for combating illiteracy like the professions of sewing, blacksmithing, electricity, and others, which will give the illiterates the opportunity to integrate into society after being armed with science and the ability to read and write, as well as after acquiring the experience in some of the professions and trades that make them turn from passive members, or what might be described as a burden on society, into positive and productive individuals who can provide their services to the community.

  • نادر البغدادي


    Because of the security conditions that Iraq went through, the wars have prevented a lot of those who wanted to study from learning and becoming holders of bright minds. However, luck and circumstances did not serve them. Thus, the Iraqi Government and the local governments in Iraq in this step are ending the phenomenon of illiteracy in Iraq because there are many illiterate people in Iraq. Thus, carrying out these steps helps end and eradicate illiteracy in Iraq. Such steps are in the interest of Iraq in order to assist it in getting everyone to learn and contribute to the building of the new Iraq, from everyone according to his competence and ability. Therefore, to my mind, it is a good and effective step to eradicate illiteracy in Iraq. We should continue to preserve Iraq free of illiteracy in order to keep pace with progress taking place in the world. The elimination of illiteracy in Iraq contributes to the progress and prosperity of the country and keep pace with the progress taking place in all the countries of the world because most of the older people in Iraq did not receive proper guidance with regards to education and learning which are efficient and should be continued, but they did not receive such advice or guidance. For this reason, the Iraqi provinces prepare for the establishment of a broad campaign to wipe out illiteracy from Iraq. It is a step that is in the interest of the Iraqi society, which must evolve and keep pace with advancement, because the Iraqis need these campaigns to raise awareness and preserve the Iraqi society from the intruders’ manipulation of those with weak minds. It is a good and effective step that wants goodness for Iraq and the Iraqis.

  • سليم ابو عودة


    The Iraqi Government has built a lot of schools of learning to eradicate this phenomenon of illiteracy existing in Iraq because it is something essential and necessary. Now, we see a lot of moms and dads who help their children in studying. This is sufficient evidence that Iraq started to come out of the crisis of illiteracy.

  • توفيق عبدالرحمن


    Most of the elderly in Iraq are illiterate and do not know how to read and write because they have not received adequate attention from the Iraqi Government, the parents and the community so they can learn and enter schools. This is an essential issue that made Iraq too late from the rest of the world, but today, we see that most of the Iraqi youth are educated and shared with a lot of scholars in the world of science and knowledge, and that is what makes Iraq advanced at the wheel of science.

  • الياس


    The idea of the eradication of illiteracy in Iraq is an important issue, so it must be given attention. Cultural development is required in Iraq, especially for the elderly and non-educated in particular, to develop Iraqi culture and care about them because of the lack of job opportunities and their preoccupation with many things regarding matters of a hard life. This is in addition to the fact that education is one of the rights of those who did not have a chance before to learn in schools because of the difficult living conditions that forced them to leave school or not to join them before, or as a result of other reasons. Therefore, there should be a focus on the establishment of schools for the eradication of illiteracy in Iraq and helping with the education of illiterates such as the elderly and other non-educated segments, in order to contribute to changing the reality of Iraq and saving its people from ignorance and darkness.

  • مسلم عبدالله


    Illiteracy is not a problem that is difficult to eliminate, but rather its effects on the community is what makes it a problem of serious proportions on the progress of the State. However, in order to eliminate it, the procedures are easy and simple if the State is under a just rule and sophisticated ideology, and with young people and their help and love for such assistance for the development of Iraq in order to work on its liberation from that illiteracy. The hope becomes a reality on the ground, but how could these young people work on such a dream while their country is under intellectual and political occupation by America as well as the corrupt administrators and those in control of politics? Thus, the time for working on the eradication of illiteracy has not come yet for Iraq. The efforts to eliminate it would be difficult if not impossible in the political situation which Iraq is going through. I do not think that America will allow them to do so, as it does not want progress for the Arab States for its own interests in these countries.

  • ناظم الحلي


    The issue of illiteracy that has spread in Iraq is one of the most important problems facing the Iraqis, as many Iraqi people suffer from illiteracy and the inability to read and write because they did not go to schools before as a result of the miserable circumstances experienced by Iraq, which forced many people to leave school in order to find job opportunities and provide a living for the poor Iraqi families. The Iraqi Government launched a great campaign to combat and eradicate illiteracy from Iraq which is something beautiful, and I hope to be dealing with this issue seriously and that the developed plan will be good and appropriate to address the problem and keep communicating and continuing this large campaign which Iraq will witness. I think the attention should first be given to the segment of the youth who suffer from illiteracy, because these will be a burden on the community in the event of the continuity of ignorance and illiteracy in them. This, of course, does not mean that we neglect the illiterate elderly who did not have the opportunity before to learn and rid themselves of illiteracy.

  • مسرور علي


    To eliminate illiteracy in Iraq, we must take some preliminary measures to achieve such a goal, namely political reform of the country. The political reform of Iraq is the only outlet to the reform of the rest of the areas in it, just as you cannot construct a building with high floors without establishing it and putting down strong foundations for it. Iraq is now in a state of political tension and administrative corruption. How can a country in such a tense and deteriorating security situation focus on domestic reforms such as eradicating illiteracy? There are priorities that must be followed before all of this. What is illiteracy but a small branch of things? Many problems must be resolved and eliminated, but they are closely linked to the security and political situation experienced by Iraq. If the Iraqi people were able to eliminate corruption, purify it and make the government honest, then Iraq can look at the subsidiary problems to eliminate them and develop what has been neglected and destroyed over the previous period.

  • Rqeeb


    The Iraqi Ministry of Education is required to put up development plans and open channels of cooperation with civil society organizations in order to contribute to decreasing the illiteracy rates in Iraq and working on getting over all these obstacles to get rid of this serious problem. However, this requires immediate work on opening educational centers and training teachers to qualify them to participate in this great national mission. The ministry should also equip the centers with the necessary tools to teach the illiterate people how to read and write in addition to teaching them a craft that is related to the daily life of the citizen in order to be effective elements in the Iraqi society. This work is part of the duties of the Iraqi Ministry of Education, which is responsible for the educational process in order to spread knowledge among the Iraqis to be pioneers in shouldering the great responsibility that is represented in building the home and restoring its security and stability.

  • سارة


    It is the duty of the Iraqi Ministry of Education in the meantime to prepare for launching the educational programs that aim at accelerating the process of the elimination of illiteracy in the country because it exceeded all limits and turned into one of the serious social problems that threatens the progress of Iraqi society and deactivation of the process of construction and development, which is urgently needed in Iraq given the factors that led to the deterioration of its leading role in the region. The most important factors in this respect are the social backwardness as a result of the rampancy of illiteracy, which has transformed into a serious social disease that faces the individuals of Iraqi society. The number of illiterate Iraqis reached more than five million people as a result of the difficult and unstable circumstances during the recent period including the wars in the country, as well as the process of political change that was accompanied by security deterioration that led to instability, which was negatively reflected in all the government services that are offered by the state to the citizen, especially the educational process, which witnessed serious deterioration and is the main cause of the rampancy of illiteracy in Iraq again. Paying attention to this issue is necessary to avoid this problem.