Private schools in Iraq

Saddam Hussein closed private schools in 1973, requiring that all students learn to venerate the regime and the Sunni version of Islam. Now a few private schools have opened, the Los Angeles Times reports.

So far, countrywide there are nine coed private primary schools and four boys-only secondary schools, with a total enrollment of about 2,000.

Tuitions vary widely. Sindbad Primary charges a little more than $1,200 a year, equal to tuition fees in neighboring Jordan. Al Mamoon asks for $300 a year but offers discounts to top students and to families with more than one child enrolled in the school.

Many private-school students want to go on to study at foreign universities.

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  1. Didn’t have to wait too long to get to the money ‘graph:

    The private schools are a half-measure by Western standards, bound to the core curriculum taught at state schools and answerable to the Ministry of Education. It is too soon to tell whether they will widen the education gap between the rich and poor or deepen sectarian divisions. But many here say they offer choice and hope to people who haven’t had much of either for decades.

    Of course private schools will widen the gap between rich and poor, it’s just too soon to know if it’ll happen but even if they don’t, there’s every chance they’ll deepen the secterian divisions. But what are you going to do when people want hope and choice? You just have to tuck it in and accept the secterian violence and poverty that private schools inevitably create because some people have just got to have their hope and choice. Selfish, little shtunks.

  2. Well said, Allen. “Education gaps” and “sectarian divisions” are byproducts of that little experiment called freedom…

  3. Jack Tanner says:

    ‘accept the secterian violence and poverty that private schools inevitably create’

    WTF are you talking about? Private schools create poverty and violence? In the little blue blazers or the plaid skirts?