Home Page


Baghdad, Iraq – September 30, 2003 – A new school year awaits Iraqi children. School officially begins October 1. The first couple of days will be taken up with registration and school orientation. In most cases, instruction will begin October 4. Some schools, particularly in the governorates of Erbil, Dahuk, and Sulaymaniyah are already opened. Students in those governorates returned on September 15.

“As parents, you have an obligation to make sure your children go to school,” Minister of Education Dr. Ala'din Alwan said. “School is the key to success and a good education leads to a better future for us all.

“Many schools across the country had fallen into disrepair, because of the neglect of the former regime. Classroom walls were falling apart, and sewage was filling the school yard. Over the summer, the Coalition has worked very hard with us to fix many schools. While much work has been done, fixing every school and restructuring the education system in Iraq is a long term project that we are working on.”

Back-To-School Facts:

  • Number of school buildings: 13,597 in 2003 (Source: UNICEF & USAID)
  • Total number of schools that has been rehabilitated is 1,061 and 723 more schools are waiting awaiting their final inspection and approval. This is being done by USAID contractors, coalition military commanders and NGOs.
  • USAID contracts alone hired 36,000 Iraqi subcontractors to do school rehabilitation work.
  • Total number of teachers in Iraq as of 2000-2001 was 272,122 (Source: UNESCO)
  • As of 2000-2001 the total number of students in Iraq was 5,436,782 (Source UNESCO).
  • Iraqi teachers currently earn from ID 100,000 to 500,000 per month (US $66.66 -$333.33).
  • Under Saddam Hussein, teachers earned from ID 8,000 to 20,000 per month (US $5.33 - $13.33).
  • More than 100 primary and secondary teachers, principals and supervisors from around the country, represented the first wave of Iraqi educators to be trained in effective teaching methods and given a “Master Teacher Trainer” certification.
  • These Master Teacher Trainers will help train more than 800 teachers across Iraq by the end of October. This teacher training serves as an important signal that schools will be different now that the system is no longer under the control of Saddam Hussein.
  • School books are currently being reprinted with all references to Saddam Hussein and Ba’athist Party removed.
  • A committee of Iraqi teachers convened by the Ministry of Education and led by Fuad Hussein reviewed student text book titles to remove Saddam and Baathist references.
  • UNESCO and UNICEF are reprinting a total of 72 million books. UNESCO is printing approximately 5 million science and math textbooks; UNICEF all other subjects.
  • School security is the responsibility of everyone. Teachers, principals and local communities are taking responsibility with the help of Iraq’s Facility Protection Services (FPS), Iraqi Police and Coalition forces for student safey.