Iraq: Renewed commitment to improve operation and delivery of education in Kurdistan

published 3 September 2021 updated 6 September 2021

Quality education and health and safety in education received a boost with a recent visit from Kurdistan’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research to the Secretariat of the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU). Both parties reiterated their commitment to seeking best solutions to protect the education community and guarantee quality education for all throughout the Iraqi region.

At the 15 August meeting, Aram Muhammad Qadir, Kurdistan’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, met with several KTU members, including KTU President Abdalwahed M. Haje.

Vital role of ministry

Haje underlined the ministry’s importance in preparing teachers, education specialists, and professionals to serve the country and build a strong scientific infrastructure.

He commended the ministry for its management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The introduction of a hybrid system meant that some students studied on the campus while others studied via online lessons. This, and the ministry’s assistance helping educators support students, ensured that the school year was not lost.

KTU seeks reform of higher educational system

The KTU raised the issue of ongoing reforms in the university system. The union leader asked the Minister of Higher Education to reconsider the admission system in universities, and to amend the educational curriculum, so that it meets market needs.

Haje also urged authorities to grant additional opportunities for teachers to continue their educational training at master’s and doctoral degree levels.

Ministry: Changes afoot to improve curriculum, delivery, and autonomy

For his part, the Minister acknowledged the KTU’s important role in aiding his ministry and the Ministry of Education. The KTU assisted “in a way that contributes to the success of the educational system” and stressed that the ministry will cooperate and fully coordinate with the teachers’ union.

Qadir added that the ministry would try to start the school year at the beginning of September, with most class in presential mode and as little as possible online.

The education curriculum will be changed, he added, with the aim to prepare specialised professionals in all work fields, in line with the needs of the labour market.

The Ministry will also try to raise the teachers’ professionalism and knowledge to improve work practices. It is also working with the Council of Ministers to give universities more autonomy in managing their financial and administrative affairs.

The Minister concluded by confirming that his offices will remain in constant contact with KTU to better serve the Kurdistan educational community.