Police officer storms Kirkuk school, harasses teachers

Kirkuk, 2017: one of the main streets in the city center. KirkukNow

By Yousif Ali in Kirkuk

A police officer storms a Kirkuk school with his guards demanding forcible participation of his failed son in the final ministerial exams.

The incident took place few days ago in a village of Hawija district, southwest of Kirkuk. The lieutenant colonel threatened to crush the teachers with his vehicle in case his son, who has failed in five classes, is not admitted to final exams of class nine.

The came with the approach of the final exams and the announcement of students’ admission to the final exams for grades nine and 12 of intermediate and preparatory schools.

The Iraqi ministry of education had stipulated that the students fail in four main classes or more are not admitted to the final ministerial exams.

A teacher of Al-Mustafa high school anonymously said, the officer, acting as a lieutenant-colonel in the Hawija police “broke into the secondary school with three cars and took advantage of his position. He verbally assaulted and threatened to dismiss the the teachers who caused his son to fail in the third intermediate grade, as his son failed five lessons and is not qualified to participate in the exams.”

"The director of the secondary school tried to file an official complaint against the officer, but parties intervened and prevented the submission of the complaint in an attempt not to be drawn into complaints and not to complicate the issue," he added.

On April 16, a teacher of an elementary school of Kirkuk was attacked by relatives of a student as the teacher mediated to punt an end to fighting between two students out of school while he was heading home on Saturday.

There are over 1,300 schools and nurseries in Kirkuk for over 356,000 students, according to figures of the general commission of statistics in 2017-2018.

Located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, the oil-rich city of Kirkuk is an ethnically mixed province for 1.7 million Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen, Muslims, Christians and Kaka'is. It has long been at the center of disputes between Baghdad and the Erbil.

Article four of law number four of 2018 for protection of teachers dictates 1-4 years-in-prison for any one assaults a teacher or an educational supervisor. The also clearly denies access of security and military services to educational campuses.

The Directorate General of Education in Kirkuk opens an investigation into the incident.

The Director General of Kirkuk Education, Abd Ali Hussein Touma in a statement "expressed his strong condemnation of what happened, stressing the facts of the incident and his refusal to attack the educational cadres in the Kirkuk Education Directorate."

Hassan al-Jibouri, head of the Kirkuk branch of the Teachers Syndicate, talked to the principal of school and “confirmed that the school administration and its employees did not file a lawsuit against the lieutenant colonel," whose identity is preserved by KirkukNow.

“We demand from all our cadres that when there are abuses, we ask our cadres to submit a written complaint so that we can take legal measures, and if we do not receive any complaint, we cannot take anything in this matter,” al-Jibouri added.

He pointed out that "we will not allow anyone who tempts himself to attack all our cadres, whatever his capacity, and he will be held accountable according to the teacher protection law."

Currently, Iraqi army, local and federal police, Special Forces along with Shiite paramilitary of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF, undertake the security of Kirkuk province and the disputed territories. 

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