“From now on, I will be carrying a pen”
Illiteracy-eradication center opened for first time in Kurdish-populated Duz Khurmatu neighborhood

Salahaddin- An illiteracy eradication center in Tikrit   Photo: Directorate for Eradicating Illiteracy

Layla Ahmed- Duz Khurmatu

“Now I can read a little, but my writing skill is not bad, and I am good in math,” says Nariman Ibrahim, who decided to relive school days after 30 years of dropping out.

This 41-year-old man left school when he was at the 5th grade due to his family’s financial difficulties. It has been almost a month since he decided to join an illiteracy eradication center opened in his hometown Duz Khurmatu, Salahaddin province.

Nawroz Illiteracy Eradication Center was opened by the Iraqi ministry of education for the first time in a Kurdish-populated neighborhood of the district since the fall of the former Iraqi regime in 2003.

Over 30 students are attending classes run by four teachers.

Halo Jamal, an educational supervisor and principal of the center told KirkukNow “the number of students coming to the center is on the rise.”

The all-male attendees are studying in Arabic. Besides learning reading and writing skills, the participants are receiving training on carpentry, manufacturing and other crafts.

“We plan to include Kurdish language in our programs,” Halo Jamal indicated.

Two other illiteracy-eradication centers exist in Turkmen and Arab-populated neighborhoods of the disputed district. Another center for female students is planned to be opened next month.

“We have been reassured by the ministry of education that they will send female teachers.. A large number of women are keen to attend literacy classes; the center will also offer training on sewing and hairdressing skills,” according to Halo Jamal.

In these centers, students are taught reading, writing, math and general education.

“If the students are able to graduate from the primary school, they can complete other stages and even admit to university,” says Jamal

Nariman Ibrahim says his dream of earning a certificate that would enable him to become an officer is finally coming true.

“Besides learning how to read and write, I also want to learn a useful craft such as carpentry,” he said.


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