ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
*  WORLD
   africa
   americas
   asia pacific
   europe
   middle east
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 SPACE
 HEALTH
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 ARTS & STYLE
 NATURE
 IN-DEPTH
 ANALYSIS
 myCNN

 Headline News brief
 news quiz
 daily almanac

  MULTIMEDIA:
 video
 video archive
 audio
 multimedia showcase
 more services

  E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Or:
Get a free e-mail account

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 AsiaNow
 En Español
 Em Português
 Svenska
 Norge
 Danmark
 Italian

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 TIME INC. SITES:
 CNN NETWORKS:
Networks image
 more networks
 transcripts

 SITE INFO:
 help
 contents
 search
 ad info
 jobs

 WEB SERVICES:

World - Middle East

Iraqi education spending plummets under U.N. sanctions

school
Schoolbooks are scarce and outdated in Iraq, and increasing numbers of children don't attend class  

November 19, 1999
Web posted at: 10:34 p.m. EST (0334 GMT)


In this story:

'Why is it that we stay still?'

'It makes me burn inside'

20 percent drop out, government says

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



From Correspondent Rula Amin

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.N. sanctions against Iraq are hurting more than its economy. Iraq's education system appears to be withering too.

Before 1990, Iraq used to spend more than $2 billion a year on education. After nine years of U.N. economic sanctions, Iraq is spending less than 10 percent of that money to educate a new generation.

The United States has demanded that Iraq fully disarm before the U.N. sanctions, imposed after Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, are suspended.

 VIDEO
VideoCorrespondent Rula Amin looks at the education system in Iraq
Windows Media 28K 80K
 
  ALSO
CNN Special - The Worlds Children
 

'Why is it that we stay still?'

"Why is it that all people move forward, and we stay still where we are," asked Ahmad, the best student at Baghdad's oldest high school. "We go backward, the rest of people go forward."

As a result of the funding shortage, Iraqi parents must pay substantial fees to ensure their children receive a high school education.

Books are scarce and outdated most of the time. The students don't have access to the Internet; the school is not even equipped with computers.

'It makes me burn inside'

"This school used to graduate the creme of the creme in Iraq, now look at it. It makes me burn inside," said a clerk who has worked at Ahmad's school for more than 30 years.

But some say the damage runs deeper than the school's dilapidated rooms, where some of the windows don't even have panes.

"Here you have the children growing up in severe isolation. The knowledge gap is widening, and we are putting the young people in tremendous disadvantage," said U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Hanz von Sponeck.

20 percent drop out, government says

Increasing numbers of school-age children don't attend classes at all. The Iraqi government estimates 20 percent of primary and secondary students have dropped out.

Sponeck says the result is children with fewer dreams, little inspiration or ambition. It is a generation, he says, that is unprepared to compete in a highly competitive world.



RELATED STORIES:
Amid isolation, Iraq's educational system deteriorates
October 14, 1999
Major U.N. powers divided on lifting Iraq sanctions
September 20, 1999
Security Council fails to agree on Iraq policy
September 23, 1999

RELATED SITES:
United Nations (UN) Foundation
CIA -- The World Factbook 1999 -- Iraq
ArabNet -- Iraq
The United Nations
United Nations Agreements on Human Rights
Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations
Iraqi National Congress
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.