Due to the volatile security situation in Iraq, expats rarely bring their children into the country. In fact, many companies now have policies against it. Expats will either leave their families at home where their children can continue their schooling, or send them to boarding school in a neighbouring country with a more stable education system.
Most wealthy Iraqis have now moved overseas and choose to educate their children abroad.
Public Schools in Iraq
While public schooling in Iraq is free at all levels, it is only compulsory for children between the ages 6 and 12. As a result of the country’s struggles, however, it has been difficult to provide Iraqi children with a decent standard of education.
Schools in Iraq are poorly resourced and buildings are in desperate need of repair. Attendance rates are low and children often drop out of school due to safety concerns and to help support their families.
Private schools in Iraq
The public school system in Iraq is not supplying the population with adequate education, and local parents that can afford to are therefore sending their children to private schools to be educated, as there are a number of these institutions throughout the country.
Private schools generally offer either the national curriculum or an international one, which may be taught in a foreign language, such as English, French, German or Turkish. While sending one's children to a private school may be very expensive, these schools do generally have better facilities and longer schooling days for the pupils, than the public schools.
International schools in Iraq
Before the outbreak of war in Iraq, there were a number of international schools, but with a significantly smaller expat population in Iraq, the majority of these schools have now closed. The handful that remain offer foreign curricula including that of the UK and the US, as well as the International Baccalaureate.
Although a few international schools can be found, the region's instability makes it ill-advised for expat children to attend school in Iraq. It's best that they either remain in their home country to continue schooling, or opt for a boarding school in a neighbouring country.
Special-needs education in Iraq
While Iraq does have a number of special institutes for children with special needs, these institutes only teach up to grade six in Central and Southern Iraq, and up to grade nine in the Kurdistan Region.
The government is in the process of trying to implement special-needs education into already existing public schools, and some schools, while limited, have already dedicated separate classes for special-needs students.
Tutoring in Iraq
Home tutoring is available in Iraq through various companies or private teachers, and there are websites available online where parents can apply for a tutor for their child.
Some international schools in Iraq also offer after-school tutoring for either groups or individual students. Children attending these schools can therefore sign-up for sessions if in need of extra tutoring.