Students of irregular schools in Shingal are compelled to travel to Mosul and stay there for a week on their own expenses to take part in preliminary exams, as such exams are not held in their district.
For the school year 2020-2021, there are more than 1,200 students of irregular schools in Shingal who have registered for exams.
“For the registration form and filing alone, I had to pay 50,000 Dinars [about $35]. If I travel to Mosul for the preliminary exams, I need more than 150,000,” Jasim Khudéda, a student from Shingal’s Sinuné subdistrict, said.
He worries he will not be able to get the money since he is not earning enough from his work. He will have to borrow the amount.
We can’t stay all six days in Mosul
Travelling to Mosul from Shingal costs 15,000 Dinars. Counting one taxi ride inside the city and a meal, each student needs 150,000 Dinars for the six days travelling back and forth to take the exams.
“We can’t stay all six days in Mosul, that’s why we have to travel back and forth each day. The exams are held in the afternoon, so by the time we get home it will be past dusk.”
The preliminary exams for irregular schools start on 6 February and take six days.
Sa’d Mitto, the head of Shingal Education Directorate, told KirkukNow: “We have requested that the exams be held in Shingal, and we are awaiting a reply. But I don’t think they will approve of our request, because the date of the exams is close and there isn’t much time left for changing location.”
Mitto says that there are 1,200 students of irregular schools in Shingal, and that that number is significantly bigger than those of previous years. “Lodging should be at least provided for the students so that they can stay in Mosul during the six days of the exams.”
“We have teachers and exam halls here; we can hold the exams in a proper way if they are held in Shingal, and that issue would be resolved. The financial situation of the people in this region is different from all other regions,” Mitto added.
Many in Shingal have been cut off from school due to the attacks by ISIS and their subsequent displacement. They are now compelled to attend irregular schools because according to Iraqi laws, students are not allowed school re-entry after prolonged absence.
Ahmad Jasim from Borka settlement in Shingal is one of them. He told KirkukNow: “We have complained to tens of officials in Shingal and Nineveh. Although they have promised us looking into it, nothing has been done, and we may have to travel to Mosul every day for the exams.”
“If the issue can’t be resolved, we should be reimbursed for the travel costs, because most of us are poor.”
changing location of the exams is in the hands of the [Education] ministry
Abdul-Hameed Majeed, an official from Nineveh Education Directorate, told KirkukNow: “We are aware that conditions are different for the people of Shingal due to what happened there, but changing location of the exams is in the hands of the [Education] ministry. If Ezidi representatives in Baghdad make serious efforts, they may be able to do something about it.”
Majeed does not think requesting location change from Nineveh Education Directorate alone will lead to the desired result.
Shingal district is located about 120 km west of Mosul in Nineveh province. It is part of the disputed territories between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Federal Government.