With support from the European Commission, UNICEF is supporting governorates and education ministries in developing their educational plans and modernizing data collection to improve the quality of learning in Iraq
With financial backing from the European Commission and in partnership with UNESCO, UNICEF Iraq is supporting authorities at the governorate level to better plan their educational interventions.
This is part of UNICEF's commitment to decentralizing education that empowers education officials, teachers and communities and allows them to tailor learning to children and adolescents' specific needs, thereby delivering quality education.
In addition, UNICEF is also supporting the Federal and Kurdistan regional ministries of education in the establishment of a new digital information management system that not only organizes and stores data but also processes and analyses it and generating various reports on the Education sector that is accessible to all education stakeholders.
Known as Education Management Information System, or EMIS, UNICEF and partners are planning to the roll out this system first in the governorates of in Baghdad, Anbar, Najaf, Qadisiya, Thiqar, Basra, Missan and Muthana.
"We cannot emphasize enough how important these projects are to Iraq's educational sector. Once rolled out, the new system will give teachers, school administrators, and decision makers ready access to important educational information while at the same time empowering them to take decisions quickly, effectively, and for the benefit of their students," explained Ms Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF Representative to Iraq.
To date, UNICEF has worked with 11 Educational Directorates, including in Baghdad, Basra, ThiQar and Qadissiya, to build their capacity in evidence-based Analysis and planning. UNICEF also plans to roll out gender-responsive teacher training modules that will be developed by UNESCO.
These interventions are particularly significant in a country like Iraq, where the quality of learning remains below par. In former conflict areas, dropout rates are very high and schools are operating two or three shifts per day, with as many as 60 students per class.
"As children are preparing to go back to learning this fall, our work with our partners is crucial to addressing many of the education system's shortcomings of education. It will help to ensure that every child is able to receive the kind of education that will improve her or his chances at a better future, and we are grateful to our European partners for supporting us," added Ms. Lasseko.
UNICEF's work is part of its overall objective to help improve learning outcomes and support equitable and inclusive education for all girls and boys in Iraq by 2021.