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Educational System—overview

In 1976, a number of Arab and international education organizations participated in the Baghdad Conference for the Eradication of Illiteracy. This meeting helped produce a comprehensive national campaign against illiteracy in the nation. Compulsory Education Law 92 was passed in the same year, requiring all children between the ages of 6 and 15 to attend school; the law also stipulates that the state must provide the facilities for such learning.

Students in Iraq begin the school year in September and end in June of the following year. School is in session six days a week and closes on Friday, the Muslim Sabbath. The Iraqi educational system is largely influenced by Western educational systems, including the granting of leaving certificates or their equivalent and the use of standardized, national testing.

Education in Iraq emphasizes Modern Standard Arabic, or fusha, which differs from spoken (Iraqi) Arabic. In the Kurdish Autonomous Region, Kurdish is the main language of instruction, with Arabic and English also used. English and French are the main foreign languages studied in Iraq. Some faculties in colleges and universities, like medicine and engineering, employ English as the language of instruction. Various English language courses are offered throughout Iraq. The most popular destinations for Iraqi graduate students studying abroad in the past have been the United States and the United Kingdom.

School and general examinations are employed to assess the degree to which educational goals are being met among students. The Ministry of Education periodically assesses these methods through a special technical subcommittee, which is also tasked with the development of examinations. Passing the annual promotion exam is required in order to be promoted to the next grade level. The minimum passing grade is 50 percent on a 100 percent scale. Baccalaureate tests (national, standardized examinations) are administered in the sixth, ninth, and twelfth grades. The grading system used in secondary and higher education institutions is based on the 100 percent scale. In secondary schools, the minimum passing grade is 50 percent, while in higher education, it ranges from 50 to 59 percent.

A supreme committee of the Ministry of Education administers an educational guidance program. Provincial committees are also a part of training guidance counselors. The program's aims are to overcome instructional and psychological problems that children face in school, to help them make educational progress, and to develop methods of social interaction.

The government has highlighted religious education in recent years through a campaign to teach students about the Qur'an, the sacred text of Islam. The principles of the National Faith Campaign for the Teaching and Understanding of the Holy Qur'an are derived from the doctrines of the Qur'an itself, as well as the Sunnah (the sayings and actions of the Prophet Mohammad, as recorded by his disciples). The campaign's special curriculum starts from the first grade and ends in (preparatory) grade six.

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Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceIraq - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education