Iraqi Teachers Unsafe in own Classrooms

Ministry of Education spokesman Ibrahim al-Sabti revealed that a group of soldiers in the Iraqi army attacked teachers and staff in a girls' school in Anbar province in western Iraq. The attackers were later arrested, he told Al-Monitor.

Sabti said, “Two lawsuits are filed after each assault on teachers. The victim files the first lawsuit and the Ministry of Education files a second lawsuit to restore the school’s stature.” He added, “If the victim waives their right [to follow through] after being pressured by a certain tribe, the ministry will not give up.”

However, Sabti believes these procedures are not enough, noting, “The Ministry of Education appealed to the Iraqi parliament to approve a law to protect teachers, similar to the laws protecting doctors and journalists." He added, “The Ministry of Education also called on the Ministry of Interior to tighten security measures to protect schools.”

The enactment of a law to protect teachers may seem like a good idea, but it can never truly put an end to assaults. It is very common for patients' relatives to attack doctors in Iraq. Last year in June, a doctor was attacked and very badly injured after an operation on a patient was unsuccessful.

The state has got to find a way to constrain the tribes and clans and present itself as a powerful, reliable institution by enforcing the laws instead of keeping them tucked away in the drawers of the executive and legislative authorities.

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