Background and objectives:
The Ministry of Education, with support from UNICEF, conducted a school survey for 2003/2004. Of the 11,368 primary schools in Iraq, only 11 per cent were undamaged, while 53 per cent (more than 6,000 buildings) were damaged, and most schools had sub-standard sanitary facilities.
The key objectives were:
- Improve the physical environment of 160 schools in 18 governorates’ including water and sanitation facilities.
- Enhance the capacity of the Department of Education to undertake the maintenance of schools and promote hygiene practices.
- Reduce the number of shifts and the number of students in crowded classrooms by adding new classrooms.
- Build capacity of local contractors and using local materials.
- Reduce unemployment in local remote communities.
The main activities included:
- Engaging 100 local contractors.
- Implementation of comprehensive rehabilitation of 160 schools (90 by UNICEF, 70 by UN-HABITAT) in 18 governorates.
- Hiring engineers to provide technical assistance and monitor the rehabilitation activities.
- Engaging international and Iraqi consultants to conduct training workshops and produce guidelines for school maintenance and hygiene.
The results achieved were:
- 70 schools rehabilitated.
- Training of 452 teachers and headmasters on school hygiene and sanitation took place in Wasit, Basra, Missan, Baghdad and Thiqar governorates.
- Reprinting 5,000 school sanitation and hygiene manuals and procurement of kits for training.
- Training of 55 technical staff on schools maintenance.
- Post rehabilitation data collected from 24 schools (out of 56 completed in 2007) reveal that the improved environment has a positive impact on the achievements of project objectives.
- Construction of 80 new classrooms and 122 additional toilets for girls has helped in reducing the overcrowded classes and eased access to proper sanitation.
- Enrolment in these schools has increased from 11,481 to 13,023 (13%) for all students with 14 per cent increase for girls.
- Attendance rates increased from 72 per cent to 82 per cent.
- So far the project has generated 49,885 person-days of employment.