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“Quality of education in Iraq” A dialogue session of Tammuz organization within global action week campaign for education 2017

02-05-2017

“Quality of education in Iraq” A dialogue session of Tammuz organization within global action week campaign for education 2017

Tammuz organization for social development and in cooperation with the Baghdad Provincial Council held a dialogue session to discuss the "quality of education in Iraq" as part of Iraq's activities in the campaign of the global education action Week for 2017, the session was held at Baghdad Provincial Council Hall on April 30th.
 
The seminar was attended by a number of members of the provincial council and representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Teachers Syndicate, sociologists and educational issues, as well as a number of academic professors and activists from civil society organizations.
 
The session got started with a welcoming speech from the colleague Vian Al Shaikh Ali, President of the organization of Tammuz, during which she familiarized the Global Education Week Campaign and its goal to ensure accountability for the achievement of the fourth goal of sustainable development 2030, Which states for "quality, equitable and inclusive education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities.”  In order to achieve this goal, the central slogan of the campaign "Stand up for education it’s time to deliver" was adopted by the organization of Tammuz and a number of Iraqi organizations interested in education. And that discussing the reality of education in Iraq and measuring its quality as the subject of this session comes within the start of delivering and standing up for education, which is the basis for reforming the reality of Iraq in all economic, social and political aspects.
 
Ms. Mahdya Al-Lami, Chairperson of the Civil Society Organizations Committee in the Baghdad Provincial Council welcomed the attendants , noting the importance of the subject of education and identifying its problems in order to find solutions and suggestions for improving its quality, She praised the role of civil society organizations and  the organization of Tammuz in adopting these development issues, for that  Education in Iraq is suffering, like many  other sectors, of the lagging and retreating for a number of reasons and impediments, which bear the Ministry of Education the large part of them.
 
The main interventions of the session were introduced, initiated by Dr. Haider Al-Houdi from the Department of Quality Assurance of Education at the Ministry of Education,  where the intervention focused on the quality of education in terms of efforts and achievements of the Ministry of Education, and in terms of non-entry into the indices Davos forum in measuring the quality of education, because of the non-application of measurement standards on Iraq, Al-Houdi played down the importance of the Davos standards because it is  more similar to an organization rather than an official international institution. It also depends on the size of the financial contributions of the member countries, And that it’s not only the quality of education included, but also economic standards. Stressing that at the same time that the ministry is making intensive incessant efforts order to improve the status of education and development, And that the imbalance in education is due to the government and the lack of financial allocations for education, and to the dispersion of government and political decisions to transfer powers to the local governments that have confused the Department of Education, In addition to the impact of smart phones  and electronic devices on the student's interest in the study, the poor performance of some teachers and educational staff has increased the ministry's responsibility for the problems of education. Pointing out that the lack of knowledge of the Federal Ministry of education inputs and indicators in Kurdistan region is one of the challenges facing the measurement of the quality of education by the Iraqi Ministry of Education. And therefore, there is no person with a program to promote education.
 
 
 
The second intervention of was of Mr. Nuri al-Jassim member of the Education Committee in  Baghdad Provincial Council, which presented the reasons for being  Iraq not included within countries that are qualified to the  indicators of the quality of education, considering the real problems facing the educational process in Iraq, including non-specialization of Ministers of Education at the work of education since 2003 until now, The absence of a unit for the system of preparing teachers and scientific qualification of teaching staff as it exists in most countries in the world, and weak financial allocations for education, lack of infrastructure represented by buildings of teaching that are qualified and adequate for the number of students, causing the existence of dual  and triple  school shift in a building, Classes are stuffed with more than 50 students per class.
There are also quite a few clay or reed built schools in the provinces and districts. One of the major problems facing education is the rampant corruption in the education sector, which has been evident in the construction contracts of schools and in the printing of textbooks that cause delays for students and their families this year.
 
  Not to mention corruption and nepotism in the appointment of teachers and school administrations without regard to specialization, need, experience and etc. These problems also caused the existence of private schools that are not scientifically logistically qualified to form a good school environment that distinguishes them from public schools.
Moreover, these schools lack governmental supervision by the Ministry of Education. All these reasons and many others brought education in Iraq to descending levels   cannot be applied to international standards which differs from the past decades when Iraq was a pioneer in the region at  the level of education.
 
The third intervention  was of Mr. Abdul Razzaq Ali, during which reviewed  intensive analysis of the nature of educational policies in Iraq, with a focus on the relationship with the Iraqi labor market,  for educational policy is one of the most important elements of public policy, its linked to the objectives and philosophy of the prevailing  political system, and in Iraq there was a successful and distinctive policy of education in the region began in the 1970s, when the three powers of compulsory education, compulsory literacy, and free education for all levels of education were combined, Which led to a change in the level of education, that quickly faded because of the wars fought by Iraq, the economic blockade and its consequences, which had an impact on the education sector.
 
After the year 2003 and the full change in all joints of the state, and with the adoption of the Iraqi constitution in 2005, which stated rights and more advanced formulations than the preceded constitutions on education, nevertheless, it was not clear how this right could be preserved and the nature of litigation if the state could not implement it. Iraq then experienced a state of chaos and insecurity, which caused a lack of coherence between different stages of educational policies (legislation - planning - implementation). Despite the state's explosive budgets until 2014 and the availability of financial resources at the time, education has only the smallest proportion of the size of those budgets, which was reflected on the educational process (facilities, building, human resources and outputs). As for the relationship between the labor market and educational policy, some data indicate that the political, economic and security conditions that occurred after 2003 were reflected in the provision of employment opportunities for graduates. Despite the efforts to bridge the gap between education and the labor market, the gap between education output and labor market integration is very different. It is characterized by many internal and external challenges to cope with rapid developments in the scientific and technological fields and to improve the level and effectiveness of education and linking it to the labor market to achieve comprehensive development and community service, which requires, taking Serious and practical measures.
In the last main interventions, which was of Dr. Hussein Hindi, director of educational supervision in the Ministry of Education, talked about  the obstacles and problems  that facing the Ministry of Education and reducing their achievement despite the efforts that made and  the efficient work  of their staffs to improve the quality of education, But the media ministry is weak, and this does not mean that the ministry did not have the cause of the failures of education, but it doesn’t not hold the responsibility alone, for it is one of many other ministries such as the Ministry of Education and Planning etc. And that there are problems related to corruption and random appointments that reduce the completion of educational supervision in schools, not to mention  the lack of financial allocations that have been reflected on the process of supervision and following-up in remote areas.
the lack of effectiveness of laws, as for the curricula,  it is the first at the level of the region and it was prepared in a scientific way of specialized committees took into account the integration of the concepts of democracy and human rights and keep away from violence and sectarianism, And that the problems in education s responsibility is held by student and their families as well. The programs and projects carried out by international organizations are unreliable because of the limited time associated with the size and duration of funding. And dialogue and interventions had begun for participants, which raised many of the problems and errors that permeate the process of education in Iraq, which represented a detailed addition to the problems and challenges mentioned by the speakers in the session, Representatives of the teachers' syndicate, member of the education committee in the governorate council, academics and activists participated in presenting examples that reflect the deterioration of the education system in Iraq. These interventions included the causes of problems and obstacles due to numerical reasons, administrative and financial corruption, Lack of comprehensive planning for the appointment of teachers according to needs and according to specialization, The failure to prepare units to accommodate the huge population growth, The absence of the rule of law that weakened the prestige of the teacher, the compulsory education, the impact of religious and sectarian fanaticism on teachers and its reflection on dealing with students, On the one hand, and to explain some subjects such as history and Islamic education on the other hand, the use of schools as a platform for religious preaching and practice of religious rituals by some members of the faculty, lack of financial allocations for education in the state budget, influencing on the ideas and raising of children in the schools that were under the control of gangs, the weakness of the role of educational supervision and its absence in remote areas, the neglect of vocational and technical education, the spread of private tutoring, the weakness of the scientific level of teaching in private schools and poor government control, the problems of displaced students, And the committees concerned with the real problems of education, the weakness of cooperation and coordination between the ministry and civil society organizations to benefit from initiatives and projects related to education. After extensive discussions on the subject of education and the lack of quality was agreed on the content of the statement announced by the Iraqi Coalition for Education with the beginning of the campaign of the World Week of Education, has been drawn a set of suggestions and recommendations to promote the reality of education in Iraq, which we include the following:                                                                                                    
  1- To raise the financial allocations for the education sector in the state budget up to25%.
2- Enhancing the size and quality of public education and improving its implementation and monitoring plans in favor of private education, which has been increasing in recent years.
 
3- Establish strong monitoring mechanisms to regulate private education and education i religious schools.
4- Combating corruption in the education sector as part of the rampant corruption in other sectors in Iraq. 
5- Adopting and activating the compulsory education law and amending it to include the intermediate stage.
 6- To harmonize the curricula of all stages with human rights concepts, promote the values of citizenship and equality, renounce violence, and select competent scientific committees to develop curricula in a manner that ensures scientific quality and ease of absorption.
7- Implementation of the law of the national campaign for the eradication of illiteracy legislated since September 2011.
8-Provide adequate protection for teachers and teaching staff, respect their work and enhance their social status.
9 - Encourage distinctive educational initiatives and value of creative teachers. 
10-Provide a formal and organized space for the effective and targeted participation of civil society, including teachers' associations and organizations, as part of the social dialogue on policy-making, planning, budgeting and monitoring progress.
 
. Expanding, supporting and developing the policy of admission to technical education.11- 
12- To support and develop the special orientations in the application of TQM standards in the management of higher education institutions as a strategic option.
13-The selection of competent and specialized persons for the functions of the Ministries of Education and Higher Education, and all working  staffs in the departments of those ministries, including teachers  away from the system of sectarian and partisan quotas and away from favoritism and nepotism.
14- Attention to educational and family information by the Ministries of Education and Higher Education.
15- Encouraging and adopting scientific and social research and studies to achieve improvement in education.
Provide and activate the role of social researchers in schools to follow up the students' affairs..16
 Provide adequate school structures and cancel work on double-shift schools..17- 
18- Keep the conditions of admission in the schools of the distinctive to admit the distinctive students and not only for the children rich or the rulers’. 
                                              
 
The Media Office of
Tammuz Organization for Social Development
2nd May, 2017

 

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