90% of school buildings in areas under Islamic State control unfit for teaching

By Nashour Ali

Azzaman, February 2, 2015

The volume of destruction caused by the Islamic State is coming to light as Iraqi troops press ahead with their campaign to flush its militants out of Iraq.

If school conditions in areas purged of the jihadist group are any indication, it means that 90% of all the school buildings in areas under Islamic State control are no longer fit for teaching.

Iraqi troops have freed the Province of Diyala of the militants but all the schools in the areas liberated are no longer suitable, many are out of reach and others have either partially or totally been destroyed.

“Some 90% of the schools in the areas which fell to Da’esh and were later liberated are no longer suitable for any form of teaching,” said Ahmad al-Rubai’i, the head of the Education Commission in the Province of Diyala.

He said his commission has found that at least 70% of school warehouses have been burned and their contents looted.

Rubai’i said his commission reached this finding following an inspection tour of large areas from which ‘Da’esh’ – the Arabic name for the Islamic State – have been forced to withdraw.

The jihadist group still controls large areas in the northern and western parts of the country and Rubai’i said the militants are known to turn schools into weapons depots or military barracks and as a result they bear the brunt of the ongoing fighting.

He said it would take “a massive reconstruction plan and huge financial resources to bring schools to life” in areas under Islamic State control.