Much of the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in Mosul, as in much of Iraq affected by ISIS and the war, have centred on education and the renovation of educational institutions. The Directorate for Education in Nineveh, based in Mosul, has been re-opened with the help of the Ministry of Education of Iraq.
The Minister of Education, Dr Muhammad Iqbal Omar, attended the opening and reiterated his promise to rehabilitate the schools and educational institutions of Nineveh.
The reconstruction of the buildings was completed with the help of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The building had been occupied by ISIS, along with the rest of Mosul, in 2014. As with many other educational establishments, it was subject to ISIS vandalism and misuse. Parts of the building of the Directorate for Education was damaged.
The ISIS occupation of Mosul caused children and students to lose out on over 3 years of education. ISIS was hostile to all forms of education that did not conform to their totalitarian and parochial ideology. Whole curricula were replaced with ISIS textbooks that sought to indoctrinate impressionable students with inculcate them with sectarian and extremist ideas.
There are even cases where ISIS used mathematics to normalise violence. Students would be asked what “one martyr plus on martyr” equals.
Mosul was fully liberated in July by the Iraqi Armed Forces and the security situation in the city has stabilised since. This has allowed for the reconstruction of educational institutions to take place.
Schools have been re-opening on an extensive scale thanks to the efforts of local volunteers and international non-governmental organisations.
One significant establishment that has been going through reconstruction for a number of months has been the University of Mosul. Students have been returning to the institution of higher education since its liberation from ISIS. ISIS militants would use the University as a military base and also a weapons-manufacturing site. They would even manufacture chemical weapons at the University.
The re-opening of the Directorate for Education in Nineveh will facilitate coordination between educational institutions in the Nineveh province and to assist students to re-start their educational careers.