In October 2004, UN-HABITAT secured funding from the UNDG Trust Fund to implement a second phase of the School Rehabilitation Programme in the lower south of Iraq. This project targeted the comprehensive rehabilitation of 80 schools. Because of an acute shortage of classroom space, many of the schools were found to be in a state of congestion and overcrowding with two and three shifts in some cases. Accordingly, in consultation with the Ministry of Education and the Educational Directorates, the project also addressed new classroom construction in selected cases. The lack of functioning toilets was another serious problem that had been noted in the assessments and this, it was felt, was a factor in the low rates of attendance by girls. Accordingly the project gave top priority to the rehabilitation and, in selected cases, to the complete reconstruction of water supplies and sanitation facilities at all of the schools. Furthermore, a more secure environment was assured by rebuilding fences and guard posts.
The project was substantially completed in January 2006, with all physical works completed and project closeout activities in progress. The project has delivered the following:
- Comprehensive rehabilitation of a total of 80 schools, 48 schools in Basra and 32 schools in Nasiriyah.
- Construction of 131 new classrooms to provide additional capacity.
- Reconstruction of 15 sanitation facilities.
The project deliverables have provided an improved learning and teaching environment for over 30,000 Iraqi students and teachers and have resulted in a significant increase in school attendance and a reduction in drop-out rates in the areas of intervention.
Kindergarten and primary school children now benefit from an improved learning environment as a result of the School Rehabilitation Programme