Iraqi education ministry authorizes governorates to postpone exams in the event of more dust storms

The announcement comes as Baghdad and southern parts of the country expect another dust storm on Monday, which would be the ninth such storm since mid-April.
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Visitors walk by at the Imam Ali shrine during a sandstorm in Iraq's holy city of Najaf, May 16, 2022. (Photo: Qassem Al-Kaabi/AFP)
Visitors walk by at the Imam Ali shrine during a sandstorm in Iraq's holy city of Najaf, May 16, 2022. (Photo: Qassem Al-Kaabi/AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Ministry of Education announced on Sunday that it had authorized local authorities to postpone school exams if there are more severe dust storms. 

The announcement comes as Baghdad and southern parts of the country expect another dust storm on Monday, which would be the ninth such storm since mid-April.

General education directors are authorized to postpone exams at schools in the event of such extreme weather, the Deputy Iraqi Minister of Education Falah al-Qayisi told the state-run Iraqi News Agency on Sunday.

The recent dust storm that blanketed most of the country forced schools to close and the temporary cancellation of flights to the country’s three international airports. More than 4,000 people checked in to hospitals with respiratory issues brought on by the extreme weather. The vast majority of them were outpatients. 

Weather authorities in the Kurdistan Region have said Monday’s forecasted dust storm will also temporarily affect the Kurdistan Region’s provinces to varying degrees. 

Iraq is the fifth most vulnerable country to the adverse effects of climate change. 

Two consecutive years of low precipitation is a significant factor behind the marked increase in the number of these storms.