Iraq, that once had one of the finest education systems in the world and approaching 100% literacy is struggling to recover from over a decade of violence when many schools were destroyed and many teachers became dead soldiers. There is also conflict between fundamentalist religion and the concept of free and open education for all. While this continues, children suffer. Among primary school-age girls in poor areas the situation is particularly depressing. The cause of this is a combination of child-employment in families and a complete lack of some facilities.
Those children (mainly boys in cities) who make it through primary school but who are unable to afford private school fees, often find a similarly depressing environment when they enter state secondary school. Teachers are far too few and hopelessly under-supported – despite all their well-meaning efforts the failure rate is up against lower hurdles. This situation can unfortunately not improve until something is done about teacher training standards.
There are 24 universities in Iraq that range from dubious to excellent. Some are state-controlled, some are religiously affiliated and others are local campuses of foreign ones.
The University of Baghdad was established in 1956 thereby absorbing Mustansiriya University that dates from the year 1233, and is depicted here. It was seriously damaged during military occupations and by rioting students in 2007, from which trauma it is still recovering.