Amer­i­can School in Er­bil im­proves the stu­dents’ ca­pac­ity

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - H. G. Has­san

In the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, and par­tic­u­larly in Er­bil, a lot of in­ter­est is ex­pressed in the pri­vate schools as many are opened aim­ing at the de­vel­op­ment of the stu­dents’ abil­i­ties and the ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem as well. In the re­cent years, tens of schools start­ing from kinder­garten un­til the pri­mary, sec­ondary and even uni­ver­si­ties have been opened. English, French, Swe­den, Ger­man and Turk­ish schools are warmly wel­comed by people as KRG pays at­ten­tion to this process and pro­vides com­pany sup­port for new pri­vate schools.

One of the pri­vate schools which was opened in 2011 was The Amer­i­can School. In the be­gin­ning, there were is­sues fac­ing the school, but as Aveen Hawrami, the School Prin­ci­pal, says they’ve taken con­sid­er­able steps to solv­ing these prob­lems and de­vel­op­ing the sys­tem of ed­u­ca­tion, which, she reaf­firms, has raised the stu­dent’s abil­i­ties.

Aveen, who has come back from the U.S and is now man­ag­ing the school, talks about the start of the school and says that be­fore she came to Kur­dis­tan, the school had some is­sues, but this year they man­aged to solve them. The re­sults have been bet­ter than the last year. The stu­dents in the school start from grade 1 to 11. They’re hop­ing that the first phase of the stu­dents could fin­ish grade 12 and en­ter uni­ver­si­ties. “Pre­vi­ously, stu­dents were ad­mit­ted with no sci­en­tific prin­ci­ples taken into ac­count, but now a suit­able and ef­fec­tive sys­tem has been es­tab­lished for the stu­dents’ ad­mis­sion” she says. She added that 100 stu­dents weren’t al­lowed to con­tinue their study in the school last year be­cause they didn’t have the abil­ity and ca­pa­bil­ity to cope with the Amer­i­can School Sys­tem. “We did this to main­tain the qual­ity of the sys­tem and the fu­ture of those stu­dents who study here and have the readi­ness to cope with the learn­ing at­mos­phere in the school” she went on.

The Prin­ci­pal sais that she is hope­ful that the cur­rent grad­ing sys­tem to pass to a higher level will be ef­fec­tive. Our prin­ci­ples for stu­dents to suc­ceed help them def­i­nitely to fur­ther de­velop their learn­ing skills, not only hav­ing them grad­u­ate and trans­fer to the next stage. Aveen talks about their re­la­tion with the KRG’s Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and hon­estly says that they had some dif­fi­cul­ties in the be­gin­ning, but af­ter the visit of the Min­is­ter him­self to the school, they man­aged to tackle them. “This is an­other for­ward step to­wards en­hanc­ing the ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem and cop­ing with the re­al­ity y in Kur­dis­tan,” , she says.

An 11 grade stu­dent, Shani­yar Azad, said smil­ingly that she has been study­ing in the school since its open­ing. She says that she has ben­e­fited a lot from the school. “In the first year, the con­trol was weak and we had many prob­lems, but the sit­u­a­tion is now much bet­ter.” Shani­yar added that the teach­ers were con­stantly re­placed in the first year, but this prob­lem no longer ex­ists now, the school and the teach­ers help us to de­velop out abil­i­ties. “I hon­estly say that I’m happy to study here” she went on. Re­gard­ing the re­la­tion be­tween teach­ers and stu­dents, Azad said:"There are good and friendly re­la­tions and mu­tual re­spect be­tween us."

An­other stu­dent from the same class who has come back to Kur­dis­tan from Ger­many for seven years said that she has a pos­i­tive feel­ing about the school. Reem Rah­man said that it’s true that the sit­u­a­tion was not as we wished for in the first year, but pos­i­tive steps have been taken to move f o r- ward. “I’ve learnt good English here, and the stu­dents’ ed­u­ca­tion and learn­ing have been taken care of sat­is­fac­to­rily,” Rah­man said.

Se­van Saad, an Ar­me­nian who fled Bag­dad to Kur­dis­tan with her fam­ily seven years ago and lives in Ankawa now, says she’s happy, the re­la­tion be­tween stu­dents and teach­ers is friendly “In our ed­u­ca­tion we fol­lowed a school sys­tem which is quite dif­fer­ent from what was here be­fore."The Amer­i­can sys­tem which is adopted here gives us a good chance to learn bet­ter,” Saad said. She wished that the schol­ar­ship is­sue can be han­dled soon so that they con­tinue their study eas­ily.

“Stu­dents here have de­vel­oped good abil­i­ties, some of them only knew their mother tongue when they came to the school, but now they can speak English well," this is what Avan Hoshi­yar, a teacher of Math in the school, said. She re­marked that par­ents now want their chil­dren to be en­rolled here. “We do not only teach stu­dents, but also pay at­ten­tion to ed­u­ca­tion, im­prov­ing their abil­ity and their health,” Hoshi­yar added. She con­firmed that the re­la­tions be­tween them and the par­ents are very good. There’s co­op­er­a­tion be­tween us. "The stu­dents who are a lit­tle over-aged are di­rectly helped to solve their prob­lems, this is what makes the stu­dents, the par­ents and the school feel happy,” said Hoshi­yar.

As in many other schools, there’s a cafe­te­ria where stu­dents can have a rest and some­thing to eat or drink. The man­ager of the cafe­te­ria is woman with a smile. “We serve the stu­dents healthy food, our job is to make them happy, and we al­ways pro­vide ser­vice to them, to both who eat our dishes or bring their own food from home,” said Ban Ab­dulGhafoor. She ex­pected the stu­dents to re­spect the sys­tem of the cafe­te­ria and she said she’s re­ally happy with them.

The num­ber of stu­dents is not that large in the school. Nonethe­less, they dream of a bright fu­ture. When we en­tered Aveen Hawrami’s room, she warmly wel­comed us; some of the teach­ers did so as well. Some stu­dents were busy play­ing vol­ley­ball, some oth­ers made small groups and were talk­ing. We saw a stu­dent walk­ing with a stick, he seemed to be dis­abled and had some dif­fi­culty walk­ing.

Ev­ery­one was talk­ing about the de­vel­op­ment and the im­prove­ment of the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. The op­ti­mism could be seen on the stu­dents’ faces. The staff who were in the ad­min­is­tra­tion room, were con­stantly try­ing to pro­vide the need for the stu­dents who were com­ing and de­mand­ing class equip­ment while we were in­ter­view­ing.

What Aveen Hawrami said was im­por­tant to us. She re­it­er­ated: “We’re not tak­ing care only of the ed­u­ca­tion, but we try to en­cour­age and help the stu­dents to take ad­van­tage of the new sys­tem and be­come pro­duc­tive mem­bers of so­ci­ety, we lay the foun­da­tion for de­vel­op­ing gp per­sonal ca­pac­ity, p y, that’s why we work ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Ed­u­ca­tional Sys­tem.”

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