In Iraq, getting all children back to school continues to be the goal that UNICEF and its partners strive for. However, UNICEF is deeply concerned by the lack of security prevailing in most parts of the country.
Consequently, insecurity continues to keep attendance levels, particularly of girls, to unacceptably low levels. Attendance rates fluctuate between areas and schools; it is estimated at 60%, which is still far below pre-war levels.
In the immediate future, ensuring the organisation of final exams across the country is a daunting challenge. Preparations for the final exams due to start on June 21 are continuing. Precautionary security measures are being planned along with the educational and logistics issues related to the organisation of the final exams. Parents need to be reassured that their children will be safe while taking their exams.
UNICEF, the Ministry of Education, and representatives of the police have reviewed safety issues such as costs for transport of exams, student IDs, communication, and extra police escorts. Ensuring the security of students, especially girls, is accepted by all partners.
[Source: UNICEF. For the full press release, visit: http://www.unicef.org/newsline/2003/03nn56iraq.htm]
Posted on 2003-07-02