The Kurdistan Teachers’ Union has reaffirmed its intension to work with the Iraqi Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research to improve the quality of education, teachers’ status, and working and living conditions.
At a recent meeting, Minister Dr. Hussain Al-Shahristani reassured the KTU of his plan before taking office to implement programmes to enhance the quality level of postgraduate certificates such as masters and PhD degrees.
The 5 March meeting included the Executive Board of the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU), affiliated to Education International (EI).
Among the issues addressed with the ministry were:
· The delay in the payment of teachers’ salaries
· An educational conference and the teacher unions’ point of view about it
· The meeting with the Parliament’s Presidency, the Government, the Finance Ministry and the Education Ministry to follow up on the delay in salary payments
· Efforts to visit the Ministry of Municipalities to negotiate about teachers’ union rights and issues
· Final efforts to solve the problem of the scientific titles of holders of higher education certificates (Master and PhD degrees)
The minister also stressed that he was keen to ensure that the national education system is up to international standards, and to enhance the scientific level of colleges, their rates among international colleges, and the quality of the students’ standards at all college stages.
The minister also outlined the importance of connecting third level studies with the colleges’ marketing and that studies meet the requirements of the job market. The minister also said that job opportunities for new graduate students from institutes and colleges be consolidated. Suitable mechanisms to audit and establish job-finding opportunity centres should be established in all colleges, he said.
An area considered especially crucial by the KTU Executive Board was the ministry’s plan to reinforce university teachers’ English language skills; a project to meet this goal has already been undertaken with the British Council.