ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – As the new school year kicked off, the Iraqi High Commission For Human Rights (IHCHR) on Sunday expressed its concern about rising incidents of violence by teachers against schoolchildren in the country, saying that such behavior would increase rates of illiteracy.
The comments come after reports that a seven-year-old girl named Rimas al-Janabi was beaten by a teacher in a Baghdad school. There have also been other recent reports of similar incidents in the nation's southern provinces.
The event "strengthens our fears of the exacerbation of this phenomenon in schools in the rest of Iraqi provinces and turning it into a behavior which is seen as part of teaching and education," said the administrator of the Education Council of the IHCHR, Anas Akram Mohammed, adding "It is an explicit violation of the right to education."
The Iraqi Ministry of Education ordered an investigation into the girl's case after her parents filed a complaint against the school.
Mohammed stressed that the ministry and local education directorates "must address this phenomenon and adopt disciplinary punishments to limit it."
He added that "the escalation of aggressive behavior of violent teachers in Iraqi schools is a dangerous indicator increases the rate of truancy and will multiply the educational illiteracy in Iraq and threaten the cohesion of Iraqi society."
He also called on students who were abused to visit IHCHR provincial offices to exercise their right to complaint, litigation, and cooperation to combat this phenomenon before it escalates further.
According to Mohammed, it is imperative that Iraq "adopt international standards in education approved by UNESCO in order to ensure the development of an educated generation."
Editing by John J. Catherine