Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Widespread Instability in Iraq Hinders Students

I heard this interview on NPR today, and felt that it was important to share.

However you may feel about the state of higher education in your country/state/city, you can count yourself lucky...

As you probably know by now, Iraq's Ministry of Higher Education was forced to cancel all classes until further notice, due to the mass kidnapping of roughly 100 academics today.

The gunmen went through a secured government building, separating the men from the women. They locked the women in various rooms, and took the men away--to an unknown fate.

The gunmen were dressed in police uniforms, and were waved through the security checkpoints...

The academic community of Iraq is largely in flight from the country, just at the time when their expertise is needed most.

Melissa Block talks with Omar al-Farouk al-Damluji, professor emeritus of civil engineering at Baghdad University, and former Minister of Construction and Housing, about the poor security situation at universities and elsewhere in Iraq, as well as the brain drain.

Al-Damluji says many students cannot attend classes due to lack of security at their schools and in their neighborhoods, and that some classes are being taught by post-doctorate students.

You can listen to the story from NPR--here.

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