The Iraqi Ministry of Education has finished rehabilitating hundreds of schools that were damaged in terrorist acts in Ninawa province.
The schools are now ready to receive thousands of students during the next 2018-2019 academic year, ministry spokesman Sarmad Salam Lafta told Diyaruna Tuesday (July 31st).
Last year, after the liberation of Ninawa from the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), the ministry launched a campaign to rebuild all damaged schools in the province, most of which are concentrated in the western side of Mosul.
In co-operation with UNESCO, the UNDP and other humanitarian organisations, the ministry has rehabilitated 1,740 schools with varying degrees of damage in Mosul and other cities in Ninawa, Lafta said.
"Our ministry was the first [Iraqi ministry] to enter the liberated areas in Ninawa and launch a plan to rebuild schools and resume normal educational activity with vigour and insistence on challenging the impossible," he added.
The plan to rebuild the rest of the affected schools in Ninawa is "in full swing", he said, noting that there are about 800 schools left that are currently being rehabilitated.
"The International Monetary Fund has allocated $35 million to help Iraq rebuild the education sector and overcome the war's effects," he said. That amount "has been directed to rebuild the remaining schools and equip them with the necessary school supplies, and to provide training to the teaching staff".
Rehabilitation not only includes the school's infrastructure but also focuses on helping students and teachers overcome the negative effects of ISIS's extremist ideology, Lafta said.
"We are working along two tracks; the first is to develop our teaching staff's capabilities to tackle ISIS's ideology and extremism and erase its effects," he said.
The second track focuses on "strengthening national, human and educational values and healthy thinking among students and urge them to persevere in their country's service in the future".