Abandonment of Kurdish Schools in Duz Khurmatu on the Rise

September 16, 2018 at 1:57 pm

Kurdistan Region-Kurdish students attending school at IDPs camp, 2017 Photo by Barzani Charity Foundation


Marwan Khurshid, a Kurdish resident of the multi-ethnic disputed tow of Duz Khurmatu decided to re-enroll his son in an Arabic School and start from the First Grade, despite that his son passed the first Grade last year in a Kurdish school.

Explaining the reason behind his decision, Marwan says “I enrolled him in an Arabic school because conditions are much better there and they don’t have teaching staff shortages”.


Dozens of Teachers and students of Kurdish schools who fled the town following last year’s October 16 events and escalating security situation sparked by the return of the Iraqi army and other government-backed forces to the disputed territories, have not been able to return, some of them now live in IDPs camps.

Marwan’s son like so many others who were studying in Kurdish schools could not get a proper education due to numerous difficulties including Teacher shortages in those schools.

His father says, “They only had to attend school only two days in a week, and so my son didn’t learn anything”.


Faraidoon Qadir, director of the Kurdish Education department in Duz Khurmatu indicates that 60% of the town’s inhabitants -among them a significant number of teachers- have not returned back; therefore people have lost hope of restarting Kurdish schools and so they enroll their children in Arabic schools.

He said, “ the pass rate in Kurdish schools last year fell to only 2% because schools were halted for more than 3 months”.


According to statistics of the Duz Khurmatu general directorate of Education an estimated 800 teachers and more than 3000 students have been displaced.

Mhedin Fu’ad Mhedin, principal of Shafaq Kurdish school in the town told (Kirkuk Now) that “Out of 80 students, only 12 have enrolled in our school, and some of our students ask to leave and join Arabic schools”.


Abandoning Kurdish schools in the disputed territory is on the rise and the director of the Kurdish Education department in Duz Khurmatu says people are free to choose what is best for them.

The salaries of approximately 8000 teachers in Kurdish schools in the disputed territories are provided by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) but the pay cuts and the delay in salary payments has urged teachers to boycott the education process several times.


Duz Kurmatu is a disputed territory between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq located in the province of Salahaddin and is inhabited by Kurds Turkmen and Arabs.


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