Iraqi girls walk out of a school in Diyala province. File photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The demolition of more than 100 condemned schools in 2011 has sabotaged the education system in Diyala province because they have not been rebuilt, warned a local official.
"The education system in Diyala province is suffering badly after 117 schools were demolished in 2011 on claims of them collapsing," Ahmed Razuqi, the head of the education committee in the Diyala Provincial Council, told Rudaw.
Razuqi explained of "the schools that were demolished were suitable for study."
"They were never rebuilt," he said.
He explained that the province is suffering from a shortage of educational facilities.
After they were demolished, several schools were integrated into single buildings, making the education process more difficult for students.
He said, despite multiple efforts by the Diyala Provincial Council, no decision was made by the Iraqi government on the fate of the demolished school buildings nor for the students.
He also stressed the province in its entirety is in dire need of the construction of 400 schools.
Diyala is primarily a Sunni Arab populated province. Kurds live in the northern areas, which are considered to be disputed.
Diyala’s population is estimated to be around 1.4 million.
In its 2018 education index, the UNDP ranked Iraq's education system as 120th in the world. Norway topped the list. Despite the low ranking, the education system has trended upward since 1980.