Suleimaniya needs 500 schools

People hope the new govern­ment will im­prove the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in Kur­dis­tan

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics avail­able, Suleimaniya needs 500 new schools to achieve the goal of one-shift schools. The ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor in Suleimaniya and all around Kur­dis­tan needs im­prove­ments and this puts a heavy task on the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment’s (KRG) new cab­i­net, which is ex­pected to be in full func­tion very soon.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics avail­able, Suleimaniya needs 500 new schools to achieve the goal of oneshift schools. The ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor in Suleimaniya and all around Kur­dis­tan needs im­prove­ments and this puts a heavy task on the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment’s (KRG) new cab­i­net, which is ex­pected to be in full func­tion very soon.

Hopes and ex­pec­ta­tions are high since the ma­jor­ity of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties want to par­tic­i­pate in the new govern­ment and each party wants to im­ple­ment its own plans in the min­istries and posts they will re­ceive.

Ex­perts in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor ar­gue the govern­ment needs to give a higher pri­or­ity to the sec­tor.

Hemin Ghafoor, a school teacher says that still the ma­jor­ity of schools do not have proper labs, some­thing which im­pov­er­ishes the qual­ity of the ed­u­ca­tion.

“The is­sue of two- or three- shift schools is a big prob­lem since it re­duces the class hours,” Ghafoor says. “Be­fore any­thing else, they have to think of build­ing fully-equipped new schools.”

Ac­cord­ing to Na­j­maddin Ali, the Suleimaniya Ed­u­ca­tion Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, there are 13 ed­u­ca­tional di­rec­torates in Suleimaniya Prov­ince, which have ap­prox­i­mately half a mil­lion reg­is­tered stu­dents, 876 schools and around 40 thou­sand teach­ers. Ad- di­tion­ally, there are 90 evening schools in the Prov­ince as well.

“Last year 80 new schools were built and now fully op­er­a­tive,” Ali said. “57 more schools are be­ing con­structed by the Min­istry of In­te­rior on the budget of the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion. The to­tal budget of the project is IQD 56.45 bil­lion.”

Ali also added that 130 plots of land have been des­ig­nated to be used for build­ing schools, for which the Min­istry has al­lo­cated a budget and the con­struc­tion will start soon.

Ac­cord­ing to the sta­tis­tics at Ali’s direc­torate, 942 schools were ren­o­vated dur­ing 2013. Of the 457 schools in the vil­lages around the Prov­ince, only 211 schools are left to be uti­lized due to the low num­ber of stu­dents in the re­mote ar­eas.

Ad­di­tion­ally 3 schools have been es­tab­lished for the Syr­ian refugees, who have a to­tal of 1,105 stu­dents.

“If we have 500 more schools in the Prov­ince, we will have no school with two shifts," Na­j­maddin ar­gued.

Dalia Os­man, an ed­uca- tion ex­pert says: "if you need to strengthen the foun­da­tion of a so­ci­ety and move for­ward to­wards a bet­ter life, you need to start off with the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem."

“Dur­ing the past 6 years, pos­i­tive steps have been taken in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor in Kur­dis­tan, but they need more com­pli­men­tary ones,” Os­man says. “First of all we need to solve the is­sue of school build­ings, and then other needs such as labs, sports halls, teach­ers, so­cial and psy­cho­log­i­cal re­searchers. An­other im­por­tant thing that still does not ex­ist in our sys­tem is the sci­en­tific tours, which first opens the stu­dents’ eyes to the world, and sec­ond en­cour­ages them to love their stud­ies.”

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