Headline January 05, 2018/ '' 'KIDS *SUFFERING* IRAQ' ''



ACROSS IRAQ kids in Iraq camps dream big, but just can't enroll in schools. 3 million children    don't have regular access to education. Any education.

Half of the public schools must be repaired and another 7,500 built to accommodate out-of-school kids.

And the scars from the  recent conflict go beyond depleted teaching cadres : in November, unexploded ordinance killed three children in their school bus outside Mosul.

STUDENT MAAREB has big dreams, but she never get to realize them. Every day, when her friends attend class, in the Iraqi displacement camp they call home, she stays behind.

The makeshift primary school in the dusty Hammam al-Alil 2 camp in Iraq'a north opened earlier this year, but several thousand displaced children are unable to access it.

For Maareb the problem is paperwork. ''I want to go school with my friends, but I'm not allowed because I don't have an ID,'' says the seven-year-old, her plaited hair dangling down her back. ''I want to finish my studies to become a doctor.''

''Maareb and her family fled to Hammam Al-Alil 2 a few years ago from Zammar, around 90 kilometres [60 miles] west, as the Islamic State group overran the region.

At the time, Maareb had proof of birth provided by a hospital, but no-government issued identification. In the violent chaos of the IS's reign, her father could not acquire the necessary papers to secure her a spot in the classroom.

''Because of our displacement, I was never able to get an ID card for Maareb so she doesn't have any paperwork now besides abirth certificate,'' says her father, Ibrahim Helo.

Hammam al-Alil 2 lies in an arid plane just 30 kilometres [20 miles] southeast of Mosul, the historic Iraqi city that became infamous as IS's defacto capital in the country.

Iraq security forces retook Mosul last summer, but with no homes to return to, thousands stayed in camps.

Over 1.9 million people remain displaced in Iraq, more than half them children.

Starved of schooling : Over the years, Hammam al-Alil 2 became a bustling settlement : rows of tents with water and electricity access, plus storefronts, playgrounds and a health centre.

But aid groups only established a primary school this year with five teachers instructing 2,500 kids up to age 10.

That leaves around 5,000 camp children with no schooling, says schol principal Ibrahim Khodr, 55.

''There are many reasons kids can't attend school,'' Khodr says.

''No documentation due to displacement, no encouragement by parents to finish schooling, tough financial situations, and the fact that families - especially those without breadwinners send their children to work.

Khodr says education  authorities in Nineveh province have pledged to establish a school for older kids.

''We can't keep teaching in these circumstances. The Nineveh province education directorate and the ministry of education must  act to alleviate this suffering.''

Human Rights Watch researcher Belkis Wille told AFP Iraq'a policy of barring school access for undocumented children was ''shocking''.

''Iraq should be engaing in every effort to reintegrate the hundreds of thousands of families who lived under IS for three years,'' she said.

''A key way of ensuring they are brought back into the fold is through putting their children back into Iraqi schools as quickly as possible.''

But even with the  right  paperwork  school remains too expensive for some families. Abdukhaliq Julud, 37, cannot  afford to educated his five children.

''Our difficult  financial situation  means I can't buy what they need for school : clothes  backpacks, notebooks,'' says Julud.  ''I'm unemployed ,and we don't have savings. We live off whatever food aid we got in the camp.''

Iraqi students from poorer backgrounds are much less likely to attend or finish school than wealthier classmates, the United Nations children's agency [UNICEF] says.

Nineveh in particular has one of the lowest completion rates for primary and secondary schools.

No desks, chairs : According to the UNICEF, 80 percent of Iraqi children have been violently disciplined in their lifetimes.

In Nineveh, the education directorate has deployed caravan schools to maximise class time, but is facing its own shortages, too.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of Iraq, and then the world.

See Ya all prepare for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society and ''register'' on : wssciw.blogspot.com  and....................  Twitter - E-!WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

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SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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