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Arabs Send their Children to Kurdish Schools in Baghdad

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Arabs Send their Children to Kurdish Schools in Baghdad

PostAuthor: brendar » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:30 pm

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—In the midst of all political disputes between Erbil and the federal government, a story of Arab-Kurdish harmony has now emerged in Baghdad.

Arab families are sending their children to Kurdish schools. Muhammad Hussein, 45, is an Arab resident of Baghdad. He has registered both of his children in Qadamxer School in order to study in Kurdish.

“Kurdish is an official language alongside Arabic and Kurds and Arabs are citizens of this country,” Hussein, an employee of the ministry of education told Rudaw. Hussein says his family’s regular visits to the Kurdistan Region were his main reason for sending his children to a Kurdish language school.

“If my children speak Kurdish, they can interact with Kurdish children more easily,” he says. According to the Iraqi constitution, Kurdish and Arabic are two official languages in Iraq. Government offices are obliged to use both languages in daily work, but this law has not been fully practiced in the rest of Iraq.

Hussein Jaff, head of the Kurdish studies department in Baghdad, says that this year dozens of Arab families have registered their children in Kurdish language schools.

“Even though those schools were initially intended for the children of Kurdish families,” Jaff told Rudaw. “We have noticed that many Arab families also want their children to be educated in Kurdish.”

According to Jaff, education in Kurdish is still in a preliminary stage in over 110 schools in the capital. Textbooks for these schools are provided by the Kurdistan Region.

“The Arabs have also asked for their children to enter Kurdish kindergarten,” Jaff says. However, Jaff admits that there aren’t enough Kurdish teachers in Baghdad to meet this recent demand.

“We have so far hired 100 teachers, but we need 150 more because there are six education districts in the Baghdad area,” Jaff says. Official statistics show that there are 554 Kurdish language schools outside the borders of the Kurdistan Region. Of those 410 are in Kirkuk province.

Iraqi parliament is working on a new law that will enforce Kurdish education across Iraq. Burhan Muhammad Faraj, member of the parliamentary education committee in Baghdad says, “The only obstacle in front of this new law is the lack of sufficient Kurdish teachers,”
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Arabs Send their Children to Kurdish Schools in Baghdad



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