Iraq’s education system is facing a huge deficit. In March 2012, the Education Minister Mohammed Tamim said that the country needed 12,000 new schools. Since 2003, only 2,600 had been built. Last year, only 200 additional facilities were added. The existing schools are severely overcrowded, and some are in need of repair. There are also problems with outdated curriculum, the lack of trained staff, and low scores for students. To top it all off, Iraq is on the verge of losing millions of dollars in grants and loans from the World Bank and foreign donors to help deal with some of these problems. That’s because the civil war from 2005-2008 prevented much work, and the Education Ministry lacks the capacity to finalize many of its plans. The result is that Iraq’s young are not getting an adequate education with little relief on the horizon.
Jakes, Lara, “Millions in global aid for Iraq sits unspent,” Associated Press, 5/28/12
|Girls at play at Alhambra Elementary School in Khalis, Diyala, May 15, 2012 (AP)|
|A girl running to a classroom at Alhambra (AP)|
|Because of the shortage of schools, many classrooms are overcrowded like this one at Alhambra (AP)|
|Another scene of kids at play at Alhambra (AP)|
|A schoolboy walks past the support beams of an abandoned school structure that was started in Basra in 2006, but never completed, Apr. 25, 2012 (AP)|
|A teacher and two students at Al-Amin Elementary School in Baquba, Diyala, May 13 (AP)|