Millions of Children Deprived of Education in (Liberated) Iraq

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 30 October 2015 said that an estimated two million children in Iraq have no access to school and warned that an additional 1.2 million may be at the risk of dropping out due to continuous violence disrupting academic years.

Students sit in front of new textbooks in one of 12 tented classrooms at Al Takiya Al Kasnazaniya camp for internally displaced persons in Karkh District, Baghdad Governorate, Iraq. Photo: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

“The impact of conflict, violence and displacement on education in Iraq is nothing short of devastating,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s Representative in Iraq.

“Large numbers of children – those in host communities, displaced from their homes, as well as refugee children from Syria – continue to experience significant disruptions to their education, putting Iraq at risk of losing an entire generation to conflict,” he added in a news release.

According to UNICEF, nearly one million children are displaced, 70 per cent of whom have already lost an entire year of school.

Additionally, 67 attacks on schools and education personnel were reported in the last year.

UNICEF estimates indicate that about one in five schools or approximately 5,300 schools are either severely damage or converted to shelter for displaced families or used for military purposes by parties to the conflict, making them unusable.

Moreover, the schools that remain in use are overburdened with class sizes reaching as high as 60 students and operating in two or three shifts daily, which significantly reduces the amount of time children have to learn.

The agency also reported that nearly 14,000 teachers fled northern Iraq due to the ongoing violence.

As an overall response to the Iraqi crisis, UNICEF and its partners provided access to education to nearly half a million children in the last year.

They also built 40 new schools and installed 141 prefabricated classrooms across the country, established 1,585 temporary learning spaces that enables more than 220,000 displaced children to continue their education and they also distributed learning materials for over 200,000 children.

In addition, they distributed cholera prevention materials such as books, posters and pamphlets to over 5,000 schools.

The agency said that it is coordinating with Government partners to distribute these materials to additional schools across Iraq during the first weeks of the school year.

UNICEF reaffirmed its commitment to increase children’s education in Iraq, while adding that it requires $68 million by the end of the year, of which $12 million are needed immediately. (Source: UN).

Read also:

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‘Liberated’ Iraq: Over 1,300 People Killed and 1,800 Injured in August Only in Baghdad

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‘Liberated’ Iraq on the ‘Verge of Collapse’

‘Unintended consequences’: Obama traces origin of ISIS to Bush-era Iraq invasion

‘ISIS, al-Qaeda wouldn’t have emerged if US didn’t invade Iraq’

US invasion of Iraq helped create ISIS – former UN chief

Major Funding Gap Leaves Iraq on Brink of ‘Catastrophe’ – UN

‘US wants to use the Iraqi government as carrot and stick against Kurds’

Twelve Years after Iraq Invasion, Middle East Engulfed by War

‘Liberated’ Iraq — 2014 One of Bloodiest Years with More than 36,000 Victims

Starting Over: A Nun, a Wedding Singer and a Pair of Self-described Nerds Seek Refuge in Northern Iraq

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USA/UK Committed Genocide against Iraq People — By Mairead Corrigan Maguire*, Nobel Peace Laureate

‘Blair should be lecturing on Iraq from the dock at the International Criminal Court’

One Million People, in Particular Children, Displaced in “Liberated” Iraq

‘Haven’t we have already done enough damage?’ Ron Paul warns against Iraq invasion

‘Liberated’ Iraq – Convicted People Executed ‘Like Animals in a Slaughterhouse’

“Liberated” Iraq: UN Condemns ‘Atrocious Violence against Innocent Worshipers’

Horrors of War: ‘US, UK Munitions Cause Birth Defects in Iraq’

‘Iraqi Oil Poised to Become Game-changer for World Markets’ – IEA

The Untold Slaughter in Iraq

Karem, the Iraqi Refugee Who Teaches Art to Other Refugees

2015 Human Wrongs Watch

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