Due to the country's volatile security situation, expats rarely opt into education and schools in Iraq. In fact, many companies specifically have policies against employees enrolling their children into local schools. Expats will usually either leave their families at home where their children can continue their schooling or send them to boarding school in a country with a more stable education system.
Public schools in Iraq
While public schooling in Iraq is free at all levels, it is only compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 12. As a result of the country's struggles, however, it has been difficult to provide Iraqi children with a decent standard of education.
Schools in Iraq are poorly resourced, and buildings are in desperate need of repair. Attendance rates are low, and children often drop out of school due to safety concerns and to help support their families.
Private schools in Iraq
The public school system in Iraq doesn't supply the population with adequate education, and local parents that can afford to send their children to private schools to be educated instead. There are a number of these institutions throughout the country.
Private schools generally offer either the national curriculum. While sending one's children to a private school may be very expensive, these schools do generally have better facilities and teaching standards than public schools.
International schools in Iraq
Before the outbreak of war in Iraq, there were a number of international schools, but with a significantly smaller expat population in Iraq, the majority of these schools have now closed. The handful that remains offer foreign curricula, including those of the UK and the US, as well as the International Baccalaureate. They can be found in major cities such as Kurdistan and Baghdad.
Although a few international schools can be found, the region's instability makes it ill-advised for expat children to attend school in Iraq. It's best that they either remain in their home country to continue schooling or opt for a boarding school in a neighbouring country.
Special-needs education in Iraq
While Iraq does have a number of special institutes for children with special needs, these institutes are limited – both in terms of which conditions they can help with and the extent to which they are able to help.
The government is in the process of trying to implement special-needs education into already existing public schools, and some schools, while limited, have already dedicated separate classes for special-needs students.
Generally speaking, international schools are more able to cater to special-needs children than the public system, although this typically comes at an extra cost.
Tutoring in Iraq
Home tutoring is available in Iraq through various companies or private teachers, and there are websites available online where parents can apply for a tutor for their child.
Some international schools in Iraq also offer after-school tutoring for either groups or individual students. Children attending these schools can therefore sign-up for sessions if in need of extra tutoring.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance.
Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.
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