EU Schools Program
The British Council has been awarded a 14 m Euro contract by the European Union to design and deliver a 40 month programme to improve the Quality & Equality of the Education System in Iraq, supporting the enrolment and learning of children with a focus on girls in rural areas, disabled children and those who suffered from war and displacement. Research is currently being conducted and the results will inform the types of intervention to be developed. The programme will help in the capacity building of senior officials and practitioners in education to design and introduce new policies and plans to: increase enrolment, enable school counsellors to support children, especially those who are traumatized, and refine the curriculum with a greater focus on civic and peace education. The programme will initially cover schools in Baghdad, Erbil , Basra, Babil, Anbar, Salah Al din ,and Nynawa. However there is the possibility of reaching every school in the country through an intervention such as changing the current role of educational supervisors from a traditional one of inspection into one more supportive to a school and its staff. In order to deliver this new approach it will require the programme to engage more than 2000 supervisors and support them and more than 10000 educators in schools . There will be a focus on inclusion through supporting MoE & MOLSA in CSI and in the Kurdish Region in Iraq to develop the curriculum, train teachers and, most importantly, review the current legislation related to the education of disabled children.
By 2020 the “Capacity Building in Primary and Secondary Education: Improving Quality and Equality” project funded by the European Union and implemented by the British Council will have provided children in Iraq with quality and access to education at primary and secondary school level”
The British Council has already delivered a number of programmes to support the Ministry of Education in raising the quality of education. In 2010 – 2011, in partnership with UNICEF, it piloted a programme in two governorates to enhance teaching skills, strengthen school leadership and supervision and develop standards against which the quality of teaching and leadership can be measured. This was then extended under the programme ‘Improving the Quality of Education in Iraq’ with the support of the European Union to eight directorates in Central and Southern Iraq and eight educational districts in Kurdistan (2011 – 2014) with the development of standards for schools and supervisors and a process of school self-evaluation and development planning. Assistance was also provided under the programme to develop the teaching of sports/ physical education to all children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, and to produce a strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Programme Overview The overall objective is to improve the quality and equality of the primary and secondary education systems in Iraq. This will be achieved through capacity building at the Ministry and school level and the following specific objectives will be pursued:
•To increase the enrolment rate through an analysis of the causes of low enrolment and the development of strategies to address the differential rates.
•To raise the quality of education at primary and secondary school level by building
capacity to enhance the curriculum, particularly in the area of human science and peace education, and to support children with particular needs, including those with disabilities.
•To increase access to education for children with disabilities through the collection of baseline data, updating legislation and the curriculum, capacity building and awareness-raising.
•To raise the quality of education through enhanced quality assurance of schools against standards.
Our approach to delivering this programme is based on our successful experience with other projects and programmes both within Iraq and elsewhere. Our lead role in delivering the previous EU funded programmes in Iraq has given us a wealth of experience to draw from, in particular around effective ways of working with the Iraq Federal and Kurdistan Regional governments. We have longstanding offices in both Baghdad and Erbil, and as a result a strong network of partners and relationships. We will focus on working with staff in the Ministries and Governorates to support and enable them to improve both enrolment and quality. We will continue, building on our previous work, to support them to develop Iraqi solutions through providing the necessary technical support.
Alongside the government, we will also be working with a range of other education stakeholders, including CSOs and NGOs. CSOs are particularly relevant to the work on enrolment and SEND.