For World Teacher's Day, UNICEF recognizes the importance of Iraq’s teachers in providing a quality education to all Iraqi children
Commemorating World Teachers' Day on October 5th, UNICEF honours Iraq's half a million teachers who today are educating more than nine million students across Iraq. This year's theme "Take a stand for teachers" calls on education stakeholders to offer teachers the necessary support to improve the quality of education to students around the world.
“We pay our respect and gratitude to all of Iraq's teachers, who often work under very difficult circumstances” said Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq. “With the enormous responsibility to contribute to a quality education to Iraq's students, we pledge to continue our support to Government to develop high quality teacher training and inclusive systems. These will enable all teachers to best educate this generation of children and provide an equal opportunity for all children to become skilled, productive citizens in the new Iraq.”
As part of its strategic partnership with the European Union and Ministry of Education, UNICEF is supporting the training of Iraqi Education Supervisors to assess the learning needs of teachers. Once trained, the supervisors visit teachers in schools to assess their learning needs on school subjects and classroom management and teaching skills.
Based on the needs identified, the supervisors develop training plans which they provide to the Teacher Training Institute in the Ministry of Education to develop and deliver tailored training programmes for the teachers. Teacher training needs assessments will be conducted with teachers from over 570 schools across 15 Iraqi governorates by the end of 2012.
The assessments are part of a joint three year Ministry of Education, European Union and UNICEF education initiative to improve the quality of education in Iraq. The initiative aims to improve the quality of education for over 600,000 Iraqi children in 1,200 schools across Iraq, including establishing 40 furnished Teacher Resource Centres in selected schools where teachers can access the pedagogical resources they need.
As part of its approach to ensure equitable access to essential services for all children, UNICEF is also partnering with the Ministry of Education and the Government of Australia to provide quality education to children with special learning needs, including disabled children. This initiative supports the training of teachers in 20 Directorates of Education to acquire 'best practice' skills in educating children with special needs. Over 500 Iraqi teachers from 31 schools have thus far benefited from this training.