Through the Support to Improving the Quality of Education in Iraq programme, our project team has supported Iraq’s government to improve learning outcomes for 800,000 primary and secondary school students in Kurdistan and central and southern Iraq. We have also worked with partners to improve the quality and relevance of the country’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
Supporting the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sport, we have worked with teachers and school leaders to help them improve the classroom experience, support learning more effectively and plan and implement school improvement processes.
In collaboration with the Director General of Supervision, revised school standards for schools, teachers and principals have been developed and piloted, which include new processes and proformas for planning and evaluating school and teacher effectiveness.
A National Education Working Group on Standards has been formed, and works with ministries to ensure standards are established across Iraq.
Improving teaching skills
Teachers and school leaders have been supported in using the very latest pedagogical techniques. In collaboration with ITTD/TEDI, the institute responsible for in-service training, a total of 300 trainers have been trained to support teachers with a wide range of pedagogical approaches, and support materials have been produced.
The role of head teachers as leaders of teaching and learning has been supported through a ‘resident supervisor’ approach.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the role of school supervisors have been developed. Supervisors will now support schools to evaluate themselves against school and teacher standards and provide support with school improvement processes. In the lifetime of the programme, all supervisors will have received training and teaching and learning materials.
Skills and employability
By supporting and bringing together policy makers, industry representatives and education leaders, we have helped to ensure that the workforce has the skills to meet the country’s future needs.
Addressing market needs
In collaboration with policy makers a coherent TVET action programme has been developed. Alongside this, and with support from employers and social partners, competency-based qualifications and curricula have been piloted.
Centres of excellence
TVET institution leaders and teachers across Iraq have been equipped with the knowledge and confidence they need to improve the quality of teaching and learning in their institutions. These institutions have been supported to act as centres of excellence so that they can share their knowledge and learning more widely.
A comprehensive TVET strategy and implementation plan has been drawn up by a Policy Steering Group along with senior policy makers. The document has been endorsed by project beneficiaries and government ministries both in central Iraq and the Kurdistan Republic.
Standards and curriculum development
For the first time, employers, TVET institutions and ministries have had the opportunity to come together and share knowledge. This has led to the development of occupational standards for five occupations and associated curriculum packages, and has introduced the value of a progressive and coherent curriculum ladder.
Toolkit for the future
A toolkit has been developed to enable beneficiaries to undertake labour market research and draw up their own occupational standards and curriculum packages. This template has been passed on so that it can now be applied to new sectors and occupations.
In total, 36 educational leaders have taken part in the Deans’ and Heads’ Qualifying Programmes delivered by our project partner, which included:
- residential training sessions
- a change management project
- work-shadowing UK college leaders.
Evaluation so far shows that modern management techniques are more prevalent and that leaders are taking a more outward-facing approach, having forged links between their institutions and over 60 employers.