Challenges & Problems per the Current Conditions of Education in Iraq

A detailed scoping study of the education system in Iraq conducted by Geopolicity in 2009 indicates that in spite of considerable improvements since 2003, the entire education system requires substantial investment to overcome the legacy of conflict. The report sets out a series of recommendations which include (i) the need for an evidence-based education policy to be established (ii) functional restructuring and rationalization around a new more devolved service delivery model (iii) a surge in human resource development and (iv) cost service delivery development to focus public spending on both priority and long term structural needs.

Inherited Problems
There is currently an insufficient supply of schools, and most schools suffer from poor conditions.
• Gap of 3590 schools in 2003 result in double or triple shifts in school buildings • About 70% of schools lack clean water and latrines
• Almost 1000 schools are built from mud, straw, or tents
• Poor quality of inputs includes: science labs, libraries, equipment, an outdated curriculum, lack of teacher training and food sources, and staff absenteeism
• Centralized Administration
• Insufficient jobs for university graduates, and falling academic standards in many universities

Conflict and Security
Since 2003 and the fall of the dictatorial regime, the war on Saddam Hussein and sectarian conflict has further destabilized the education system in Iraq.
• 2751 schools were damaged severely and require rehabilitation. 2400 schools experienced looting.
• Schools in dangerous areas were forced to close for extended periods
• Education personals were targeted, kidnapped, attacked, and or killed
• Teacher absenteeism and that of girls reached a high level, due to the security threat
• Bombings in Baghdad claim lives of 16 students.

Population Displacement
Since the bombing at Samar'a in 2006, displacement of both teachers and students has been another factor in the destabilization of the system.
• ~320,000 students are displaced 200,000 internally
• ~65% of the displaced are males. Girls tend to drop out.
• ~20,000 teachers are displaced
• Internal migration patterns vary, which places a burden on the system as it cannot deal with changing demands
• External displacement is located mostly in Jordan (where the students are absorbed into the system, with fees paid by the MOE in Iraq), Syria (where the students continue forward with the Iraqi education system and testing), and Egypt