INA – BAGHDAD
Iraqis are committed to excellence and creativity in all endeavours, and have maintained this even through difficult times, particularly with regards to education.
This was the theme of President Salih’s speech delivered at the Al-Salam Palace today, honouring the achievements of high school valedictorians across Iraq.
Organized by the President’s Office, President Salih addressed the gathered high school students, saying that Iraqis have had difficult challenges to overcome recently, but that these students have risen to the challenge and the results speak for themselves.
Iraqi resilience has been tested in ways that would have likely caused irreparable damage to other countries, the President added. By contrast, Iraqis are moving forward, together.
“I congratulate you on this incredible success, and am pleased about what it says about the future of our country,” President Salih said. “Under incredibly difficult and challenging conditions, you have achieved great things, and on behalf of all Iraqis, I cherish your accomplishments.”
“Over the last few decades, we have experienced and survived despite tyranny, arbitrary detention, discrimination, mass violence, and bombardment by chemical weapons, genocide, and much more. This dramatically affected educational opportunities, and led directly to the educational challenges we face as a nation today,” the President said. “All Iraqis deserve better, and what you have achieved today is built directly on the sacrifices of your mothers and fathers and many others who worked hard to give you an opportunity to build an Iraqi worthy for all Iraqis. To have an Iraq that regains its former glory as an academic country.”
President Salih also noted difficult realities, particularly as they relate to the state of Iraqi educational infrastructure, but said they must be acknowledged so they can be fixed. “I know the reality of our schools, and this reality is unacceptable. I am confident, however, in our government, the Minister of Higher Education and Acting Minister of Education, who are working hard every day to improve Iraqi education.”
The President also noted that the Iraqi government performance alone will not be sufficient, encouraging the Iraqi people to work together to overcome educational challenges in their own communities.
Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Acting Minister of Education, Qusay Al-Suhail, echoed the President’s remarks and thank the President for support and attention to Iraq’s educational initiatives.
In his speech, Al-Suhail said that, "The President is supportive of the educational process, and aware of what is happening in the Ministries of Higher Education and Education because he is an academic figure, proactive in caring about the students’ status and following-up on their challenges.”
"Excellence is not the end; it is the path to a new beginning. Iraq has undergone difficult challenges, but Iraq’s feature is ever excellence," he added.