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Students Celebrate Making Schools More Friendly for Children

© UNICEF Iraq/Salam Abdulmunem/2012
School girls from Thul-fiqar Primary School in Baghdad at a festival celebrating Child-Friendly schools

Baghdad, 5 April – More than 800 students and teachers from four primary schools in Baghdad were joined by parents, Ministry of Education officials and UNICEF at Thulfiqar Primary School to celebrate making their schools more friendly to children.  The schools are among 230 schools across Iraq which are rolling out a Child Friendly School programme to make schools more suitable for children to attend and learn in.


“Making schools friendlier to children is essential to ensure children's full enrolment, regular attendance, and completion of school as well as to improve standards for them to receive a high quality education” said his Excellency Dr. Mohammed Ali Tamim, Iraq’s Minister of Education. 


Over the past months, Iraqi teachers, parents, communities and children in the 230 school areas have been trained on Child Friendly School standards to develop plans to create healthier learning environments in their schools.  The plans include improving the physical infrastructure of school premises, teachers’ development plans and the effective management of the schools.


“This child-friendly school programme is critical to improving the quality of education for Iraqi children” said Ikem Chiejine, UNICEF Iraq’s Chief of Education. “As more and more schools across Iraq adopt the standards to make their schools child-friendly, we will see improved levels of education amongst Iraqi children which will improve their opportunities to realize their full potential and provide greater contributions to Iraq's future development and prosperity.”


The concept of Child Friendly Schools aims at making schools more welcoming to children so that all children live and learn together in a healthy and happy environment.  It is underpinned by the key principles of making the best interest of the child central to all education decisions, creating a participatory learning environment which includes the community and children in decision-making processes and providing an inclusive environment where all children regardless of their background or ability have equal opportunities to enter the school and participate in learning.   When functioning effectively, child-friendly schools provide a learning environment in which children are motivated and able to learn and educators are friendly and welcoming to children and attend to all their health and safety needs.


Iraq's Child-Friendly School programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Education with technical support from UNICEF and funding from the European Union.  In addition to the present 230 schools in the programme, 370 more schools will adopt child-friendly school principles to become child-friendly in the coming months.





Related Documents

Click on the image above to download a factsheet about Child Friendly Schools in Iraq



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