By Adam Lucente for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Criticism mounts in Iraqi Kurdistan over unpaid teacher salaries

Ferhat is an English teacher at a public school in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region.

His salary comes from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), but five months into 2020 he has only been paid his monthly salary twice. Payment problems over the years forced him and other teachers to take on second jobs.

“It’s very difficult for us,” Ferhat told Al-Monitor. “Each one of us has to work after school to live.”

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

Iraq and France have agreed to cooperate in the field of electronic education and e-learning.

The agreement was announced after the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Nabil Kazem Abdel-Sahib (Nabil Khadim Abd Al-Sahib), received the French Ambassador to Baghdad, Bruno Aubert, and his accompanying delegation.

The Minister said that e-learning in Iraq opened an important window with the countries of the world, expressing his hope to develop this trend with French universities.

For his part, the French ambassador stressed the importance of coordination with the Ministry of Higher Education, pointing to the French president’s support for Iraqi students and the organization of contexts of understanding between Baghdad and Paris.

The two sides agreed to develop cooperation mechanisms in the field of electronic education and generalize the experience of the digitization project presented by the French side to Iraqi universities.

(Source: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research)

By John Lee.

Iraq and France have agreed to cooperate in the field of electronic education and e-learning.

The agreement was announced after the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Nabil Kazem Abdel-Sahib (Nabil Khadim Abd Al-Sahib), received the French Ambassador to Baghdad, Bruno Aubert, and his accompanying delegation.

The Minister said that e-learning in Iraq opened an important window with the countries of the world, expressing his hope to develop this trend with French universities.

For his part, the French ambassador stressed the importance of coordination with the Ministry of Higher Education, pointing to the French president’s support for Iraqi students and the organization of contexts of understanding between Baghdad and Paris.

The two sides agreed to develop cooperation mechanisms in the field of electronic education and generalize the experience of the digitization project presented by the French side to Iraqi universities.

(Source: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research)

Iraqi-American NASA Astronaut, Jessica Meir, has sent an empowering message of support to kids on the Hope Buses in Baghdad, all the way from the International Space Station!

In light of the current global crisis, this message reminds us that our family is so important and also bigger than we think; it’s a time where we really need to come together to support each other from all corners of the earth, and beyond!

In her message, Astronaut Meir encourages Iraqi kids by saying “reach for your dreams and believe that they can come true“; this message is extra special as one of our recent Hope Bus students has big dreams of becoming an Astronaut!

The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) has announced that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, it has made the difficult decision to cancel its annual “In Their Shoes” 5K run, originally scheduled for June.

In a statement, the ICF also renewed its call for donations to help it support Iraqi children and their families:

Dear friends,

At ICF, our highest priority is the health and safety of Iraqi children, and of our community of wonderful supporters around the world. With this in mind, and considering the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our “In Their Shoes” 5K in June this year.

While we are disappointed that we will not get to meet in person in June, we need your support now more than ever. Iraqi children and their families face many of the biggest challenges imaginable, now including the rapid spread of COVID-19.

We are committed to continuing to support these children with essential services including healthcare and nutrition, and we will continue to update you with how we are responding to the ever-evolving challenge of the current pandemic.

Please watch this space for more information about how you can support and help us grow our community. We look forward to staying in touch virtually for now, and we will look forward to seeing you for our “In Their Shoes” 5K in 2021.

We will be in touch with anyone who has registered online for the 5K already to outline next steps. If you have the capacity to donate at this critical time, please click the button below. Thank you for your ongoing support; together we will continue to work to protect the vulnerable orphans and street children of Iraq.

With love,

The ICF Team

 

In the spirit of supporting Iraqi youth to increase their employment opportunities and boost the country’s creative industry, please consider donating to this campaign to launch Iraq’s first Digital Copywriting Program.

Iraqi Innovators’ mission is to change Iraq’s narrative through their media platform and to train a generation of writers that will document Iraq’s future and publish stories coming from within Iraq.

Help spread the word and donate at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/iraqi-innovators #copywriteiraq

By John Lee.

Applications are open for Re:Coded’s Mosul Bootcamp, which starts on 4th April.

Everyone between 18-35 can apply for a full scholarship, which is taught in English and is free for those who are accepted.

Check the application form for more information or reach out to us via email at re-coded@re-coded.com.

The application deadline is 9th March.

More here.

(Source: Re:Coded)

The U.S. Mission in Iraq Announces the 2021-2023 Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The United States Embassy is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2021-2023 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.

This prestigious and competitive scholarship program provides outstanding students and professionals with the opportunity to obtain Master’s degrees at U.S. universities. Launched in 1946 by the U.S. Congress and the late U.S. Senator William J. Fulbright, the Fulbright Program seeks to develop future leaders through educational exchange as well as promote international peace and understanding.

The Fulbright scholarship will fund up to two years of study at the Master’s degree level at a U.S. university starting in the fall of 2021.

All disciplines and academic fields of study are available under this program, with the exception of medicine and other clinical studies.  To be eligible, applicants from Iraq must:

a) possess a bachelor degree from an accredited higher-education institution,

b) demonstrate a mastery of English, and

c) have a minimum of two years of work experience.

For more information regarding eligibility requirements and application procedures, prospective applicants can visit the U.S. Embassy website:  https://iq.usembassy.gov/education-culture/exchange-programs/fulbright-foreign-student-program/ .

Eligible Iraqis with an outstanding academic record  may apply at https://apply.iie.org/ffsp2021.  The U.S. Embassy welcomes applications from men and women from all parts of Iraq.

The deadline for submitting applications is May 1, 2020.

(Source: United States Embassy)

A United Nations report published today finds that some children in Iraq are still unable to receive education in the aftermath of the territorial defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant over two years ago, saying they cannot access schools or obtain key civilian documentation necessary for enrolment in state schools.

The Right to Education in Iraq: The legacy of ISIL territorial control on access to education is jointly released by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report is based upon 237 interviews and group consultations with children, youth, parents and teachers in areas that were controlled by Da’esh/ISIL until their territorial defeat in December 2017.

Several of those interviewed said that they could not move freely in and out of IDP camps due to restrictions on their movement, preventing them from daily activities such as attending schools outside the camps. One boy from a displacement camp in Ninewa Governorate said:

“There is no future in the camp anyway, what am I going to do here? Why do I need an education for this life? It has been so long since we were at school, our minds feel closed to learning, some of us can no longer even read and write. We have no support to overcome these things. Even if I could take the exams, I would not pass them. I don’t see a future for myself.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said the importance of the right to education for children and young people cannot be overstated:

“When the full enjoyment of this right is impaired for any reason, their lives and futures are severely impacted … Inclusive, quality education is not just a right in itself but it is essential for the full realisation of a range of other human rights. Education literally has the power to transform lives and make dreams come true.”

While acknowledging the steps taken by the Government to ensure access to education, the report identifies two main challenges specific to the community. Firstly, the absence of appropriate programs aimed at reintegration of students into the state education system, particularly given that many have suffered a significant time gap in their schooling. Secondly, the impact that limited access to civil documentation is having on school enrolment.

The report indicates that these issues have been compounded by the fact that many adolescents have now reached an age that where traditional primary or junior education may no longer be appropriate, that there are an insufficient number of schools or accelerated learning programmes, inadequate teaching hours, and movement restrictions.

The report calls on the Government of Iraq to take measures to overcome existing administrative and security clearance challenges for children to obtain civil documentation and to revise existing provisions of accessible forms of education for children who have missed years of education due to ISIL control.

The report was shared with the Government of Iraq and integrates comments received from the Ministry of Education, annexed to the report.

“Access to education must be guaranteed for every Iraqi child,” said Danielle Bell, Chief of UNAMI Human Rights Office. “Alternatives for those who missed out on their school years due to conflict must be found.”

For the Arabic version of the report, please click here

For the English version of the report, please click here

(Source: UN)

Ayda (not her real name) lives with her mother and little brother in a house built of mud and sheet metal in a poor neighborhood in Baghdad.

She attends the Hope Bus regularly and also works collecting empty cans from landfill to support her family.

Ayda loves going to the Hope Bus because she gets to learn and spend time with other children. She wants to be a teacher one day just like the teachers on the Hope Bus!

Your generous donations help us keep the dreams of Ayda and the other children alive. This Valentine’s Day, support Iraq’s most vulnerable children:

GIVE NOW

(Source: Iraqi Children Foundation – ICF)