Kurdistan Parliament approves establishment of educational accreditation body

Out of the 71 members who attended the session, almost 60 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill.
author_image Kurdistan 24
Lawmakers in the Kurdistan Parliament raising their hands to vote for the establishment of the Kurdistan Accrediting Association for Education (KAAE), June 22, 2022 (Photo: Courtesy of Honar Issa)
Lawmakers in the Kurdistan Parliament raising their hands to vote for the establishment of the Kurdistan Accrediting Association for Education (KAAE), June 22, 2022 (Photo: Courtesy of Honar Issa)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Parliament approved the establishment of the first-ever accrediting body for the Kurdistan Region's education sector during its regular session on Wednesday. 

Out of the 71 members who attended the session, almost 59 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, Kurdistan 24's correspondent reported.

In early May, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Council of Ministers adopted the draft bill for establishing the Kurdistan Accrediting Association for Education (KAAE) during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani. 

According to the government's draft bill, the new body will be tasked with determining quality standards for academic institutions and programs across the Kurdistan Region. 

The KAAE will support the Kurdistan Region's Ministries of Education and Higher Education in implementing the required framework for academic institutions to comply with professional and international standards. The KAAE will enable the Kurdistan Region's educational institutions to meet these standards through capacity building.

The newly-established body is part of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani's vision to reform the education sector and give Kurdish students a quality education, Honar Issa, a member of the American University of Kurdistan's (AUK) Board of Trustees and a Program Evaluator of Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), told Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday. 

At least three academic institutions must be accredited for the body to acquire international recognition, Issa said. 

In the future, the KAAE plans to partner with Middle State Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and Middle State Association – Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) to meet the objectives the body has been set up for, he added. 

"Our goal is to have our students gain the necessary skills and abilities that they will need to work in local business, so they can provide strong support for developing the region's economy," Barzani said during the University of Duhok's commencement on Saturday. 

According to the AUK official, the Kurdistan Region's educational establishments will be paired with regional and international institutions to build the necessary capacities they require.

"KAAE will also serve as a model to the rest of Iraq," he added.