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Ministry of Education

Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education has historically operated the elementary and secondary schools and vocational centers across the nation of Iraq. The ministry has been responsible for building and outfitting schools, setting curricula, publishing textbooks, testing students, and auditing school performance.

Prior to the 1970s, Iraq's educational system was considered one of the best in the Middle East, especially in science and mathematics. The ministry has about 1500 non-teacher employees in Baghdad and approximately 3000 non-teacher employees located around the country in the provincial (governorate) capitals.  The ministry's organization divides its work both according to function and along geographical lines.

The ministry had its headquarters on Karada at Al-Nidhal Street near Al-Qasr Al-Abedih (the White Palace) in the nation's capital Baghdad. This building was looted, burned, and largely destroyed after the recent war. it will take two years to rebuild it. The ministry is temporarily located in its old headquarters building near Anter Square in the Al-A'dhamia district. This building has recently served as a teacher training institute. It, too, is being reconstructed following looting and other damage.

The ministry headquarters will move from the training institute to another temporary facility in the Saad State Enterprises Building near the Convention Center in October 2003.

The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has recruited an international team of civilian and military advisers who bring diverse expertise to the challenges of helping children learn. The Senior Advisory Team members are: Leslye Arsht, Bill Evers, and Dorothy Mazaka  Assisting them is a team from the Iraq Reconstruction and Development Council (IRDC)--Sherzad Al-Talibani,  Manaf Ali, and Fuad Hussein; and Majors Patrick Vessels,Peter Buotte, civil affairs officers from the US military, and Specialist Emily Bubier.

The ministry is the national trustee empowered to ensure that all Iraqi children learn the skills and knowledge they need to flourish in the new Iraq.  The CPA administration has asked its education advisers to assist the interim Minister of Education and to serve as resource people for Iraqis both inside and outside the ministry who want to restart Iraqi schools and begin the process of educational reform.  With donations and contracts, the advisers will work to make certain that money and other resources are directed in a way that ensures the effective education of Iraq's children.

Education Fact Sheet

Number of school entities: 16,238 in 2000-2001 [Source: UNESCO]
Number of physical school-plants: 13,597 in 2003 [Source: UNICEF & USAID]
Number of Kindergarten students: 68,377 in 2000-2001 [Source: UNESCO]
Number of primary-school students: 4,031,346 in 2000-2001 [Source: UNESCO]
Number of academic secondary-school students: 1,291,309 in 2000-2001
Number of vocational secondary-school students: 65,750 in 2000-2001 [Source: UNESCO]
Total number of students: 5,456,782 in 2000-2001 [Source: UNESCO]
Number of primary-school teachers: 190,650 in 2000-2001 [Source: UNESCO]
Number of academic secondary-school teachers: 73, 989 in 2000-2001 [Source: UNESCO]
Number of vocational secondary-school teachers: 7,483 in 2000-2001 [Source: UNICEF]
Total number of teachers: 272,122 in 2000-2001 (excluding Kindergarten teachers) [Source: UNESCO]
Current range of teacher pay (as of May 2003): ID 100,000-500,000 per month [1]
Previous range of teacher pay (before May 2003): ID 8,000-20,000 per month
Number of schools destroyed during March-April 2003 war: 200 estimate [Source: UNICEF]
Number of schools looted after the war: 2753 [Source: UNICEF]
Number of schools burned after the war: 197 [Source: UNICEF]
July 2003 national examination period: 1,781,400 tests given to 222,675 students in the 9th year; 816,575 tests given to 116,645 students in the 12th year. (These tests were written, distributed, and graded by the Ministry at the national level.) [Source: Ministry of Education]
The tests for 6th year students are administered at the provincial (governorate) level.  Tests for all other years are administered at the school level.

Expenditures Summary:

Jan.-Dec. 2003: $ 384.5 million -- from all sources, including Saddam-regime operating budget, CPA expenditures, oil revenues, and international donations.

This figure excludes:

    • Saddam-regime teacher pay,
    • Kurdish regional spending; and,
    • some spending from oil revenues [Source: CPA Ministry of Education advisory office]

Jan.-Dec. 2002: $10.8 million (excluding salaries) [Source: CPA Ministry of Finance advisory office]
1991: ID 566,480,000 [Source: Ministry of Education; Danish Refugee Council]
pre-1991: $500 million per year [Source: Interview with Minister of Education, Dec. 1998; UNESCO]

[1] Iraqi Dinar approx. equivalent to US dollars:  $1= ID 1500




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