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Development of teachers’ competencies in Iraqi Kurdistan

As a result of the Islamic State's invasion, almost 1.5 mln refugees fleeing Syria or internally displaced in Iraq, including a large number of Christians (e.g. from Mosul), found shelter in Iraqi Kurdistan. Most of them are now in refugee camps, and have to rely on humanitarian aid.

School children and teenagers find themselves in a particularly difficult situation, being deprived of the opportunity for normal development. Efforts made by the authorities to provide proper care, school education and upbringing (including the prevention of pathologies) are limited and need to be supported, among others, by non-governmental organizations. There are no educators properly prepared to work in camp conditions. It is necessary to improve the system of care and education that the children of refugees are provided with. It will be facilitated by improving the qualifications of primary school teachers who work in the refugee camps and who will work in local schools in the future, constituting the qualified staff.

Development of teachers’ competencies in Iraqi Kurdistan

The project was being implemented in October and November 2015. It was addressed to teachers working in refugee camps and internally displaced persons. Also, the indirect beneficiaries of the project were supposed to be children they teach (about 10,000 pupils).

The objective of the project was to improve the level of primary education and care for children staying in the camps. The project provided for organising trainings for local teachers to improve their qualifications pertaining to the work in difficult conditions with the children of refugees. It provided for actions aimed at helping pupils develop their personalities in a comprehensive manner. The teachers were to be trained in terms of their interpersonal communication with children and other aspects concerning work with small children. The task of the training participants was also to develop the plan of action for the development of children ( emotional, physical and motor development), in order to help adjust games to the age of the children.

After completing the workshops,  the teachers were to prepare an educational package – a plan for working with school children of different age groups.

For the purposes of calculation, the following exchange rate was applied: USD 1 = PLN 4.0304.

Development of teachers’ competencies in Iraqi Kurdistan

The funds earmarked for implementing the project were used to organise trainings for teachers working in 8 refugee camps and internally displaced persons in Iraqi Kurdistan (Harsham, Baharka, Qushtapa, Darashkran, Gawelan, Basrma and Akrie).

The Barzani Charity Foundation, the local partner of the project, obtained the approval of the local authorities and camp administration to conduct the workshops. It also selected training participants and purchased equipment for the classrooms, which comprised 8 laptops and 8 projectors with screens. They will be used as educational aids in the camps, where workshops were held.

The training participants, divided into groups, were given computers, course books, toys and office tools. The classes, also consisting of lectures and model classes, were conducted by expert trainers from abroad. In total 89 teachers attended the classes. The workshops were mainly about the methodology of working with children of different age groups, who have experienced the war. They also included language practice and learnt how to manage time play for pre-school children. Teachers were also trained in basic rights of the child.