10.03.2011 -

Iraqi High level officials set grounds for future literacy initiatives: Developing a Framework for the Iraqi literacy strategy

As part of UNESCO Iraq Office support towards the development of Literacy Strategic Framework for Iraq, high level officials within the Ministry of Education (Directorates of Education), Provincial Councils, Prime Minister’s Office, and representatives from the Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Displacement and Migration, and UNICEF participated in a National Workshop for the Development of the Literacy Strategic Framework for Iraq. The workshop was conducted in Saad Conference Centre- Erbil, Iraq during (21-24) February 2011.

UNESCO Iraq Office, working within the framework of the United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD 2003-2012), launched the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) project in Iraq in 2010 in partnership with the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, First Lady of Qatar and UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education. LIFE is a 4 years project which has been designed to empower the Government of Iraq and Civil Society in order to provide equal access to literacy, to ensure the achievement of Education for All (EFA) goals of reducing illiteracy by 50% by 2015.  

To this end, UNESCO Iraq Office is supporting the Ministry of Education and the Government of Iraq in the development of a National Literacy Strategy to assist the implementation of a nation-wide coordinated response to meet the learning needs of illiterates in Iraq based on best practices registered at international level and in line with national developmental priorities and ongoing Education Strategy.     

One of the main steps towards the development of an effective National Literacy Strategy, is the completion of a Literacy Needs Assessment which identifies the main literacy challenges in Iraq and evaluates the impact, efficiency, and scope of current literacy policies, along with the organizational structures for delivery of literacy programs both at central and governorate levels. A task group was appointed at the Ministries of Education in Baghdad and Erbil in March 2010 in coordination with UNESCO Iraq Office in order to complete the critical review and needs assessment of all governmental policies and organizational structures currently in place in the field of literacy and Non-Formal Education (NFE).  

Building on the completed literacy need assessment, UNESCO Iraqi Office organized a national workshop that will assist in the development of the national literacy strategy for Iraq. The workshop was held in Saad Conference Centre -Erbil, Iraq during (21-24) February 2011 and was attended by high level officials within the Ministry of Education -Directorates of Education,  Provincial Councils, Prime Minister’s Office and representatives from the Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Displacement and Migration, UNICEF, and relevant NGOs. One of the strengths of the workshop is the diversity in knowledge and expertise of the participants and their understanding of the Iraqi situation which led to enrich the discussion topics during the four working days and assist in achieving the objectives of the workshop.  

The main outcomes of the workshop are: Developing a vision and criteria for the roles of partners; Building the roles of key stakeholders in the implementation of the strategy according to inputs; Analyzing the reality in terms of identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; Identifying  the sites and key areas of intervention of the strategy and overall objective for each area of the strategy; Identifying goals for each target and the estimated cost for each student in the literacy program; and the  conceptualization of the operational structure of the strategy.  

For more information, please contact:

Alberto Biancoli, Project Manager, UNESCO Iraq Office

Mobile: +962 (0) 776 723 409, Email: a.biancoli@unesco.org




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