Education and Science in the Arab World 1


An overview of education in Iraq

Iraq established its education system in 1921, offering both public and private paths. In the early 1970s, education became public and free at all levels, and mandatory at the primary level. Two ministries manage the education system in Iraq: the Ministry of Education [MOE] and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research [MOHSR]. The Ministry of Education is in charge of pre-school, primary, secondary, and vocational education, while the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research [MOHSR] is in charge of tertiary education and research centers.

The Golden Years:1970-1984

Iraq’s education system was one of the best in the region during this period of time, and highly praised throughout. By 1984, major accomplishments had been achieved, which include but are not limited to:

• Gross Enrollment Rates rising over 100%

• Almost complete gender parity in enrollment

• Illiteracy among 15-45 age group declined to less than 10%

• Dropout/Repetition rates were the lowest in the Middle East and North Africa [MENA] region

• Spending in Education reached 6% of Gross National Product [GNP] and 20% of Iraq’s total government budget

The average government spending per student for education was ~$620


The Destruction of Iraq’s intellectuals

Istanbul, Turkey - Professor Saad Jawad, a 32 year old veteran political scientist from the University of Baghdad who now lives in London, greets five of his former students with a warm smile. These men are now professors at universities across Iraq, and have not seen their former advisor since he was forced to flee Iraq in 2008. They are members of Iraq's embattled intelligentsia, which has endured nearly 30 years of perpetual violence. "We are carved by suffering and gouged by resignation," one says.

Each professor represents a different side of the intelligentsia's new identity. Yusuf, from the North, wears American shirts over Jordanian pants because "he can't buy much clothing in Iraq with his teaching salary." Abdullah, from the South, smokes three packs of cigarettes in a day. Ahmad, a researcher from the capital, proudly describes his frequent commentary on national television news stations. His colleague, Ibrahim, perpetually masks worry about his friend with a half-hearted smile. Hakim, from Iraqi Kurdistan, sighs uneasily - he is relatively safe in Iraq's northern semiautonomous Kurdish region.


War, State Collapse and thePredicament of Education in Iraq

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&email_was_taken=true" target="_blank">Educational Evolution, 1920–2003
"When a child starts going to school, the book is a window to the world."

Centralized control over textbook production has a long history in modern Iraq,extending even back to the late Ottoman era. Following the hostile takeoverand international recognition of the British-installed Iraqi state and Hashemite monarchy, a new curriculum emerged. Tis curriculum did not evolve without itsshare o controversy and debate, however. In the 1920s–1930s, Director-General of Education Sati’ al-Husri (1879–1967) resisted international supervision under theauspices o either British advisors or the League of Nations, arguing that any thing produced by such sources would reflect the colonialist outlook of the originnations. Seeing education as playing a key role in inculcating proper views in the youth, al-Husri was eventually able to combine Arabism and Iraqi nationalisminto a coherent curricular vision intended to buttress Hashemite legitimacy.


Iraq Education statistics: Iraq



International Bureau of Education The Development of Education National Report of Iraq 2001

Iraq was the cradle of the first human civilizations. The Sumerian, the Akadian the Assyrian and the Babylonian civilizationsflourished in Iraq. With the advent of Islam and the flourishing of the Arab-Islamic civilization, which reached its peak during the Abbasids, Baghdad became the world center of culture, knowledge and creativity, attracting scholars, men of letter and intellectuals from all over the world.
 Iraq, during the last three decades, has witnessed a general revival in all aspects of life, including the educational system which is favoured with special attention owing to its vital role in the process of cultural growth of the society. The major developments and achievements, which have been realized, constitute one aspect of the giant and numerous accomplishments achieved by the revolution in all aspects of the political, economic, social and cultural sectors. 



Education under attack


More than 100 school students and dozens of university students and academics were killed in 2009-2012, and there were numerous direct attacks on schools. The targeting of students, teachers and academics continued in 2013 with shootings and bombings

Iraq 2006: Where to From Here

Published on Oct 11, 2013

Recorded on April 20, 2006.
Law, Ethics and National Security Conference.
Appearing: Bruce R. Kuniholm, chair ; Stephen Grummon, Nancy Soderberg, Rand Beers, and Zainab Al-Suwaij, speakers


الكلية الطبية الملكية العراقية: من خلال سيرة ذاتية,

   سالم دملوجي،



Iraq A Country Study

Helen Chapin Metz - 2004 - Preview

The ministry included the directorates of health, preventive medicine, medical supplies, rural health services, and medical ... In 1983, the latest year for whichstatistics were available in early 1988, Baghdad Governorate, which had about 29

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Education In Arab Countries Of The Near East"

Full text of "Education In Arab Countries Of The Near East.... Such approval was obtained from EgyptIraq, Palestine, Transjordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

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Iraq had a Long Tradition as a Center of Higher Learning: How America’s War Destroyed Iraq’s Universities

“Up to the Early 1980s, Iraq’s educational system was considered one of the best in the Middle East. As a result of its drastic and prolonged decline since then, it is now one of the weakest,” concludes a 2008 official report.[3]

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Education in Iraq: A Cultural Battlefield

... 3The Iraq Foundation. Revitalization of Iraqi Schools and Stabilization ofmit Education, Teachers' Training in Iraq. June 2003 to March 2004. ...

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Education: Universities in Iraq and the U.S. | Costs of War

 Iraq has a history rich in contributions to various academic fields, and its universities were the envy of the Middle East thirty years ago. In the early years of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the education system in Iraq was well resourced, globally connected, secular and open to women.  University education was free and literacy levels rose from 52 percent in 1977 to 80 percent in 1987.

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The destruction of iraq's education system - beyond educide

by UNITED NATIONS on 13/03/2012

"The Education system in Iraq, prior to 1991, was one of the best in the region; with over 100% Gross Enrolment Rate for primary schooling and high levels of literacy, both of men and women. The Higher Education, especially the scientific and technological institutions, were of an international standard, staffed by high quality personnel". (UNESCO Fact Sheet, March 28, 2003)1.
As a result of U.S. Invasion and occupation of Iraq, today Iraq is more illiterate than it was twenty-five years ago, because the occupying power began its occupation by destroying every aspect of Iraq's education.

War and Occupation in Iraq - Weed

Mar 20, 2003 – Destruction of Cultural Heritage . ... Cost of the War and Occupation. ..... Data source: War and Occupation in Iraq, Global Policy Forum and Partners (2007). Projection: Lambert ..... Ministries of Education, Health, Culture .

The destruction of Iraq’s education system

As a result of U.S. Invasion and occupation of Iraq, today Iraq is more ... Destruction of educational institutes ..... during the war and subsequent occupation.


IN IRAQ BY WAR AND OCCUPATION. The destruction of schooling. The assassination of academics. Refugees and education. What to do. Mike Powers ...

An education in occupation