EDUCATION & DEMOCRACY
Background: The cumulative effect of three consecutive wars, international sanctions, security challenges and the resulting socio-economic hardships have severely undermined the education system in Iraq. Education has turned into one of the major casualties of the ongoing conflict in Iraq despite commendable efforts from and initiatives undertaken by the Government of Iraq to ensure a functioning and sustainable educational system. Children and adolescents have suffered most from the negative effects of the conflict as the provision of adequate educational and social skills was undermined.
Objectives and Results: Eusg was involved in a group of UN Agencies (ESCWA, UNESCO, UNFPA) in a project to strategize the inclusion of civic education programs in the national curricula system of Iraq, also including non-formal education.
This project “Formal and Non-Formal Education Action Plan on Civic Values and Life Skills” constitutes one part of the overall program Promoting Civic Values and Life Skills among Adolescents through Education in Iraq. This program was designed in the prospect of supporting the educational system in Iraq in delivering quality education, both within formal and non-formal settings through policy development and capacity building activities.
The program is expected to contribute to the reinforcement of a sense of national identity and citizenship. . Furthermore, it should promote human rights and gender equality in Iraq among young people, education providers and decision-makers in the public sector, and subsequently give adolescents better footing, enabling them to pursue their own educational, cultural and future career development perspectives.
The endeavor of developing an action plan on promoting civic values and life skills within the education system entailed qualitative research studies on the perceptions of these concepts among selected Iraqi educators, school administrators, students and concerned public sector officials. Eusg performed the qualitative on-the-ground-research studies through a participatory approach and conducted the assessment through local experts, which entailed the preceding building of capacities of Iraqi researchers in doing social research.
The Action Plan represents a prominent advocacy element within this program as it is expected to achieve an impact at the policy level. It synthesizes existing and presents the most suitable mechanisms to mainstream civic values and life skills within the formal and non-formal educational curricula and settings. Moreover, it devises a conceptual framework to develop the human capacity building modules that could benefit policy makers, education providers and managers, a target audience that would ensure future and sustained advocacy within the Iraqi public sector.