In the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRG), students enrolled at public elementary schools are educating by elementary school teachers whose 90% of them are graduates from colleges of Basic Education of the Higher Education institution in Kurdistan.
The Basic Education colleges in Kurdistan are indeed the main provider of the primary school teachers in the region. The current teaching staff at the KRG primary schools are 75% graduates of the Basic education colleges and 20% are graduates from two years teacher preparing institute which is equivalent to the secondary school.
UNIMED recently joined the TeachersMOD project, a new Capacity Building project for Higher Education under the Erasmus+ programme which is focused on the importance to improve the skills and competences of the university staff from the basic education field in order to guarantee a better quality of education for the young pupils and the new future generation in this region. TeachersMOD, coordinated by the University of Pavia, sees the involvement of five Kurdish universities, besides the University of Granada, University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Duro in Portugal and UNIMED. The project was launched on March 2023 by an event hosted at the Duhok University premises.
The project builds on two assumptions: the first relates to education’s pivotal role in the society to the fulfilment of human rights, peace and responsible citizenship from local to global levels, and the second relates to the digital transformation as embedded in teaching, learning, and work. Universities, therefore, need to increase their capacities at two levels: on the one hand they need to update and review curricula towards a student’s-centred approach; on the other hand they need to implement pedagogies based on active methods integrating participative and innovative components.
In this context, the activities of the project are focused on two different topics. Indeed, one of the first goal of the project is to define the needs and gaps of the curricula of the educational offer that Basic Education Colleges provide their students with. The next step is the benchmark study of European and KRG good practices on teaching methodologies.
These two pillars will set the ground to implement the capacity building activity involving the academic and staff members, whose main aim will be to modernise and improve the quality of teaching, by innovating teaching methodologies, by curricula reviewing and by reinforcing the competences of university staff in the Basic Education Colleges in the HEIs from Kurdistan region of Iraq.
The project represents an important occasion of cooperation between the European and Kurdish institutions, besides a relevant forum for discussion and reflection for Kurdish universities to detect their gaps and needs and think about possible solutions to improve their education system, in line with international standards and the Bologna process.
Stay tuned to know more about the development of the project activities!