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 Parliament to debate draft law to teach Kurdish in Iraqi schools outside Kurdistan

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Parliament to debate draft law to teach Kurdish in Iraqi schools outside Kurdistan  10.7.2012  





 
Currently, 90 schools from the Rusafa neighborhood and 20 schools from Karkh are studying Kurdish experimentally, Photo: Rudaw
July 10, 2012

BAGHDAD, — A number of lawmakers have forwarded a draft law to the speaker of Iraqi Parliament regarding the Kurdish language in education system.

A lack of teachers specializing in the Kurdish language to fill positions in more than 21,000 schools is the main obstacle to implementing the law.

The draft law, which stipulates that the Kurdish language be studied from the fourth grade through college in all of Iraq, has been signed by 30 MPs.

Burhan Faraj, a member of the education committee in Iraqi Parliament, said, “We have been working on this project for a while. Our committee asked Iraq’s Ministry of Education to implement this law, but we believe they will not.”

Faraj added, “The draft law has been prepared and forwarded to the speaker of parliament to get in order legally.”

Alla Maki, deputy chair of the education committee, told Rudaw, “The idea is that Arab students will learn the basics of Kurdish starting in primary school, just as Arabic is currently studied in Kurdistan Region schools.”

Maki believes the project is significant as language can create a strategic relationship between Iraqi children, along with the more general benefits of learning another language.

He added, “The project is constitutional. It is based on the constitution that everybody has agreed to.”

The Kurdish language is currently taught in Iraqi high schools. According to the constitution, it must be taught at all levels of education as it is an official language of Iraq,www.ekurd.net alongside Arabic.

Hussein Jaff, the general director of Kurdish studies in Iraq’s Ministry of Education, reported that the language is already being taught in over 100 schools in Baghdad. “Currently, 90 schools from the Rusafa neighborhood and 20 schools from Karkh are studying Kurdish experimentally,” he said.

He added, “In the beginning, it was just for the Kurdish students, but later a number of Arab families wanted their children to learn Kurdish as well.”

Jaff said that, if the project passes this phase of testing, it will become a standard subject that students are obligated to study across Iraq.

According to the data, 1,554 schools are studying Kurdish outside Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) administrative areas. A large number are in Kirkuk.

Jaff said that over 1,000 graduate students can teach Kurdish, but a shortage of capable teachers in the south and middle of Iraq has been the main barrier in implementing the law.

Maki said that, once the draft law is approved, this will be sorted out in planning. “We can exchange teachers. We will send Kurdish teachers to the south to teach Kurdish and send Arab teachers to Kurdistan to teach Arabic,” he said.

Faraj added, “We have asked the KRG and Baghdad to cooperate in this regard. We will also ask the Ministry of Higher Education to consider this so we can prepare good experts in the field.”

Adnan Hussein - Rudaw

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, rudaw.net

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