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Education in Iraqi Kurdistan

By Viyanka - Posted on 17 January 2007

Whilst the Kurdish Administration is actively engaged in finding the appropriate solutions to the socio-economic problems which confront the area and its society, the educational process is regarded as an essential element of that process. This is not only for the preparation and training of the work force, but also for the development and guidance of the community.

In the forefront of the Administration’s educational concerns is the approach to the establishment of an independent Kurdish education system with a sound philosophy and clear-cut objectives.

The education system of the area is a fairly controlled one, with responsibility shared between the Ministry of Education and the Committee for Higher Education. The Ministry of Education makes all long or short-term policy decisions concerning educational stages below university level. Higher Education is the responsibility of the Committee for Higher Education and includes the Foundation of Technical Institutes in the liberated Kurdistan area.

Financing education is the responsibility of the Kurdish Administration and the education system is entirely funded from the Central Administration funds. The Administration finances education of all types and at all levels on an annual basis.

The Educational Ladder in Iraqi Kurdistan consists of 2 years pre-school education for the 4-5 years age group (not compulsory); 6 years compulsory primary education for 6-11 years; 6 years of secondary education of 2 cycles of 3 years each and higher education of 2-6 years.

In addition to academic preparatory, there are also industrial, commercial, arts and agricultural schools, known as Vocational Secondary Education which consist of the same 3 years duration.

There are also three types of Teacher Training Education Institutions in the area, namely, Teacher Training Schools of 3 years study after the completion of the first stage of secondary education, Teacher Training Institutes which offer a two year course, culminating in the Diploma in Education for secondary school graduates, and Specialised Teacher Training Institutes such as the Institute of Fine Arts and the Institute of Special Education. Secondary school teachers are graduates of Colleges of Education at the three Universities.

Higher Education is of 2-6 years study covering the age group 18-23 years. The higher education stage covers Technical Institutes of 2 calendar years, leading to Technical Diplomas or to BA and B.Sc. in the fields of Arts, Science, Fine Arts, Medicine, Engineering and so on. The three Universities of Salahaddin, Sulaimania and Duhok also award specialised Diplomas, B.Sc., Masters and Ph.D.s in the fields of Science, Humanities, Education and Arts.