Curriculum

World Bank Joins School Rebuilding Campaign

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 14, 2004 2 min read

A new player has emerged in the drive to remake education in Iraq.

The World Bank intends to make available to the Iraq Ministry of Education $40 million for the printing of textbooks and $59 million for refurbishing schools. It has also designated $700,000 to pay for the furniture, equipment, technical assistance, and training needed to manage the project. The money comes from the World Bank’s member countries, which include the United States.

The organization’s plan is expected to be approved by bank officials next month, and money should start flowing to Iraq soon thereafter, according to bank officials who answered questions by e-mail.

This past school year, two United Nations agencies printed all the textbooks distributed to children in Iraq. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, with a grant of $10 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development, printed 8.6 million math and science textbooks. The United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, printed 44.5 million textbooks for all other subjects in the curriculum. They were paid for with money from the former U.N. “oil for food” program in Iraq.

Those textbooks are newly printed versions of the ones that Iraqi students used prior to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, minus references to ousted President Saddam Hussein or his Baath Party, which were edited out by Iraqi educators. Iraq’s minister of education, Dr. Ala’din Alwan, said this month that Iraqi educators won’t rewrite Iraq’s textbooks until after the country’s curriculum is revised, which he estimates will take two or three years.

Neither UNESCO or UNICEF will print textbooks for Iraq in the coming school year, which begins in October, but rather will focus on other education activities.

UNICEF will use $12.6 million from a grant soon to be announced by the USAID to run accelerated-learning programs on a large scale for Iraq’s estimated 50,000 youngsters who haven’t been attending school. With the new grant, UNICEF also plans to equip 1,000 schools with water and sanitation facilities and latrines.

“Children don’t have safe water to drink. They don’t have toilets to visit,” said Geeta Verma, a UNICEF program officer for education in Iraq who is currently based outside of Iraq. “Girls tend to drop out of school more than boys if there are not latrines around.”

UNESCO officials said they were waiting to hear from the Iraq Education Ministry how they could best support the agency in the coming school year.

Building Aid

Along with the World Bank, the U.S. government is also poised to pour money into school repair in Iraq. The United States has proposed spending $88 million for education construction needs under a supplemental appropriation for Iraq approved last fall by Congress, according to Leslye A. Arsht, a senior adviser for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

About two-thirds of Iraq’s 15,000 school buildings need major repairs, according to Ms. Arsht.

No donors have come forward so far to pay for the construction of new schools, she added.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online
School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum Opinion Eight Ways to Teach With Primary Sources
Four educators share ways they use primary sources with students, including a strategy called "Zoom."
13 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Curriculum The Dr. Seuss Controversy: What Educators Need to Know
The business that manages Dr. Seuss' work and legacy will cease publishing six books due to racist stereotypes and offensive content.
5 min read
A copy of the book "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair on March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator's legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children's titles including "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" and "If I Ran the Zoo," because of insensitive and racist imagery.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced it would cease publication of several of the author's children's titles because of insensitive and racist imagery.
Steven Senne/AP
Curriculum Opinion The Overlooked Support Teachers Are Missing: A Coherent Curriculum
Here’s the research on how districts can improve instructional systems—which was already a challenge in the best of times.
Morgan Polikoff, Elaine Wang & Julia Kaufman
5 min read
A team of people work together to build a block structure.
Imam Fathoni/iStock<br/>
Curriculum Leader To Learn From Taking an Unapologetic Approach to Curriculum Overhaul
An academic leader at a charter school has overhauled curriculum—and proved that instructional rigor and anti-racism can co-exist.
11 min read
Danielle Kelsick, Chief Academic Officer for the Environmental Charter Schools in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Danielle Kelsick, Chief Academic Officer for the Environmental Charter Schools in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Nick Agro for Education Week