About 12 million students will enter the education system in Iraq with the start of the new academic year, and the most recent statistics show that the majority of the school infrastructure is outdated and in need of repair, especially in rural areas far from the city center where there is a severe lack of schools and where it is old and lacking the most basic services that must be provided to students and teaching staff.
The Iraqi Red Crescent crews have finished restoring and maintaining the water and sewage systems at eight schools across four governorates as part of the IRCS’s school reconstruction project.
The map of schools according to Mr. Nawar Abdul kader the head of structure & sanitation dept in the IRCS was distributed in to two schools in Buhrz and Khalis districts of Diyala governorate, two schools in Muthanna governorate with the help of Norwegian Red Cross, two schools in Al-Hira and Al-Manathra districts of Najaf governorate, and two schools in Badra and Jassan districts of Wasit governorate, with assistance from the Red Cross and Red Crescent International.
Mr. Nawar has added that the development of a brand-new water pipe network, the installation of tanks and a small water desalination and sterilizing facility with water coolers, also the provision of hand sanitizers and disinfectants in every school, were all included in the maintenance work.
Additionally, according to Abdul Qader, “the work included setting up new sewers for heavy water, maintaining restrooms and sanitary facilities, and outfitting them with everything they required to replace seats, floors, and doors, as well as outfitting restrooms for people with special needs and others designated for women.”, he also insisted that standards appropriate with the number of pupils were followed in the preparation of restrooms and health facilities that were erected and renovated, each student received access to one bathroom and three liters of washing water, with one bathroom allotted to every 60 students and one to every 30 female students, in accordance with global norms.
“Green spaces were created in each school, benches were set up for resting areas, equipped with lighting and garbage containers of various sizes, as well as an information guide for pupils to preserve public cleanliness,” the director of the structure and sanitation department has added.
The students of the rehabilitated schools were included in a health awareness program that included giving lectures concerning personal hygiene and protecting the environment, as well as teaching students to form committees on their own to identify problems and develop solutions to them through a participatory methodology, meaning that the student is responsible for his school.”