OH YEAH, WE'RE WINNING
Iraq's school and university system is in danger of collapse in large areas of the country as pupils and teachers take flight in the face of threats of violence.
... In some schools and colleges, up to half the staff have fled abroad, resigned or applied to go on prolonged vacation, and class sizes have also dropped by up to half in the areas that are the worst affected.
Professionals in higher education, particularly those teaching the sciences and in health, have been targeted for assassination. Universities from Basra in the south to Kirkuk and Mosul in the north have been infiltrated by militia organisations, while the same militias from Islamic organisations regularly intimidate female students at the school and university gates for failing to wear the hijab.
Women teachers have been ordered by their ministry to adopt Islamic codes of clothing and behaviour.
"The militias from all sides are in the universities. Classes are not happening because of the chaos, and colleagues are fleeing if they can," said Professor Saad Jawad, a lecturer in political science at Baghdad University....
Schools in southern Afghanistan are closing in large numbers due to pressure and intimidation from the resurgent Taliban movement, leading to an education crisis in the volatile region, officials say.
Almost 150 educational institutes have closed in Kandahar province alone, according to the education ministry. Regionally more than 50 schools have been attacked this year.
“Some 145 schools are currently closed in Kandahar and more than 70,000 students, including boys and girls, are deprived of education,” said Mahbobullah Khan, an official from Kandahar’s education department.
...it’s not just the south where primary education is suffering. “More than 200,000 students are shut out of schools across the country because of school closures due to fear of attacks,“ Deputy Education Minister Mohammad Sadiq Fatman told IRIN from Kabul....
In the six-month period to July this year, UNICEF had recorded 99 incidents involving schools, staff and pupils. The figure is more than six times the number in the same period in 2005. Six children have died as the result of the violence this year. The assaults include one missile attack, 11 explosions, 50 school burnings and 37 threats against schools and surrounding communities....
--IRIN Asia, October 2, 2006
Iran? You're next.