Education in Arab Countries of the Near East: Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon

By Roderic D. Matthews; Matta Akrawi | Go to book overview

Chapter 10
SECONDARY AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

UNDER OTTOMAN rule Iraq had secondary schools for boys in Baghdad, Mosul, Basrah, Kirkuk, and Sulaymaniyah. These schools prepared students for advanced study in Istanbul or to enter the Law College in Baghdad. Most students who went to Istanbul attended the Military College; others entered the colleges of medicine, law, or civil administration.

After World War I secondary education developed slowly, the first classes being started in Baghdad, Mosul, and Basrah in 1920 and the first graduation taking place in 1924. It was 1930 before secondary classes for girls were started in the same cities. After the passing of the Education Law of 1929, the secondary course was lengthened from four to five years, with an intermediate stage of three years and a senior stage of two years, each stage concluding with public examinations.

Although coeducation is spreading in the primary schools and is an accomplished fact in all the higher institutions except the College of Engineering, it does not exist at the secondary-school level. The somewhat rapid expansion of secondary-school education for girls and the shortage of women teachers have compelled the Ministry of Education to use men teachers to complete the staffs of some girls schools. Except in one or two localities this practice has not met with opposition, and it has allowed a more rapid development of secondary schools for girls than would otherwise have been possible.

All public secondary schools in the country are now under the jurisdiction of the provincial directors, who inspect them administratively and are responsible for their equipment and general operation. The Director General of Education, however, controls the distribution, appointment, and transfer of secondary-school teachers, since it is considered necessary, at least for the present, for a central agency to distribute teachers according to their specialties and according to the needs of the individual schools.

The Iraqi Military Service Law exempts secondary-school and college

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