Nearly century-old school in Sulaimani to be fixed as demands for more schools increase

Decades-old schools in Sulaimani are in dire need of repair and renovation as buildings ravaged by time are restricting available classrooms to students, with the region requiring more schools to improve the quality of education.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Decades-old schools in Sulaimani are in dire need of repair and renovation as buildings ravaged by time are restricting available classrooms to students, with the region requiring more schools to improve the quality of education.

There are 1,748 schools in the Kurdistan Region’s province of Sulaimani, with 470 of them dividing students into morning and afternoon shifts, and some students having to go in the evening.

Many school structures have not been renovated for decades, with severe damage visible within the buildings.

The secondary school of Slemani Kurran was established almost a century ago – in 1924. Studying in the school is sporadic, with some parts of the building looking like archeological ruins.

Students and teachers are concerned with the aged structures and have demanded the old schools to be renovated.

“In the past 95 years, this school has continued to serve the people of Sulaimani and has produced many graduates,” Rizgar Bayiz, deputy director of the school, told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has done nothing to renovate this school. The school needs its roof to be fixed, windows and doors to be replaced, and walls painted.”

“I can say, students here feel like they are [studying] in a prison because of the lack of services, no yard in for students in which to play,” Bayiz added.

Mirko Burhan is one of the students calling for the renovation of the school.

“The school has turned very old and needs renovation,” Burhan said. “The environment inside the school is not conducive to our learning.”

Mariwan Omar, the spokesperson for Sulaimani Education Directorate, told Kurdistan 24 that they would form a team to offer repairs for the crumbling schools, especially those that have become part of Sulaimani’s history.

“For the renovation of schools like Slemani Kurran Secondary School, we will cooperate with Sulaimani Archeology Directorate. They choose their engineer to supervise the renovation process to ensure the buildings are renovated using the same style to preserve its ancient history,” Omar said.

Education officials believe that schools not only require renovations but also lack resources to provide a proper learning environment to students. Some other 200 schools need to be constructed in Sulaimani to address some of the classroom shortages and the quality of the education, experts say.

Editing by Nadia Riva

(Additional reporting by Hazha Ghafour)