Dozens of ninth and twelfth grade students in Shingal (Sinjar)’s Kurdish education schools were unable to participate in this year’s final ministerial exams after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s ministry of education decided not to send the exam questions to the district citing security instability as the main reason.
The students could not afford to travel to Duhok province to take part in the process, eventually they lost an academic year.
“Me and my brother are 12th grade students; we both were enrolled for the final exams but due to financial difficulties I told my brother to go to Duhok alone and I decided not to participate”, Khairi Saeed, a 12th grade student in a preparatory school in Shingal’s Doogre residential compound told KirkukNow.
“I know it was a tough decision but we could not afford to go both of us to Duhok”, he added.
Khairi says they even had to borrow 250,000 Iraqi dinars so that his brother could go to Duhok and hire a room with his classmates so that they could take part in the exams. He held KRG and local officials responsible for their plight.
At least 800 students staged a protest on April 4th, 2019 in Shingal and asked the education ministry officials to reconsider their decision.
Due to security instability in the area we were unable to hold the ministerial exams in Shingal
Hussein Khidir, head of the KRG’s directorate of education in Shingal speaking to KirkukNow said, “ due to security instability in the area we were unable to hold the ministerial exams in Shingal”, noting that “Shingal students can go to Duhok where 3 stations have been arranged for them.”
He indicated that 260 twelfth grade students of both scientific and literary branches along with 300 ninth grade students were qualified to take part in the final exams.
The head of Shingal’s directorate of education said they have asked the governor of Duhok to allocate an specific amount of money for Shingal students who travel to Duhok, however their request is still unanswered.
Wajida Khairo, another 12th grade student, who lives in Sinune sub-district says, “I had to go with my sister to Duhok after we borrowed US$ 200, and now we stay in our aunt’s house in Duhok’s Sharya IDP camp; this place is totally inconvenient for studying.”
Shingal is located northwest of Ninewa province. The district is predominantly inhabited by the Ezidi community.