Even amidst reports that show the increasing challenges facing education, especially refugee students and teachers, education unions from Iraq and abroad are focused on finding sustainable solutions, despite constant uncertainty facing the war torn country.
Teacher unions from the United Kingdom and Lebanon joined their Iraqi counterparts in Iraq to take part in a workshop organised by Education International (EI) that addressed the political challenges facing teachers. From the 27-28 October, The Kurdistan Teachers’ Union was joined by EI affiliates NASUWT and TSL-Lebanon.
Twenty-four KTU leaders and heads of KTU’s 12 branches participated in the workshop, which with an assessed the political situation in Iraq, and its effect on the education process, the role of KTU and how to enhance its role in this difficult situation for teachers, students and schools in Iraq. With the huge number of Syrian refugees and internally displaced Iraqis, maintaining a functioning education system has been pushed to its limits.
Facilitated by EI’s Arab countries’ regional coordinator and the international officer of NASUWT, Abdullah Muhsin, the workshop relied on participatory interactive methods, where the participants worked in groups and role played especially for the technical sessions on organising.
The two-day meeting included thorough discussions on the political atmosphere under which KTU is working and reaching out to its members. Other sessions tackled the approaches and challenges of organising new members, and the importance of increasing the level of participation.
Another member of the EI Arab Countries Cross Regional Structure, or ACCRS, TSL-Lebanon, also shared its experience by presenting their project on organising to KTU to show how other affiliates are being encouraged to cooperate.