your education is a failure they chant rather than preparing for midterm exams these students from various universities in Baghdad skipped class to join anti-government protests they demand a better future a future they say the current system is incapable of providing.

Student Saying: if this doesn’t succeed we won’t have another opportunity this is the last chance for us we haven’t achieved anything in the protest square yet so we can’t return to our studies as usual.

youth unemployment in Iraq is high and one of the protester’s main grievances Allah is a first-year engineering student but without connections, she stands little chance of finding a job missing class is a small price to pay.

Student Saying:  it doesn’t worry me to lose one year because there are 600 people who lost their lives entirely not just one year what is one year compared to the goals of our revolution which is to bring change.

what they want is to upend the political establishment that rose to power after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime they reject prime minister-designate Mohammad telphy allowi the former communications minister and Member of Parliament is seen as representing the status quo as protests continue midterm exams are looming to catch up on months of lost education some received tutoring at private Institute’s like this one of Mancusi Karim is a senior in a nearby public high school classes there were suspended for several weeks when protests began in October but even after schools reopened his peers pressured him to stay away the vihari we started the war our brothers in the protest squares they were asking for support they said they need us some of my friends pressured me don’t go to school it’s not good it’s better to go protest despite his private schooling of man worries about not achieving the marks he needs to get into university the biggest losses are of course us we will get hurt by this we went with the protesters and supported them but it will all come back to us of man’s teacher and the director of this Institute doubts that many students will fail not because they master the subjects but because The Education Ministry has told instructors to help them pass the sural and know the Education Ministry told us to teach only the important things and skip whatever we feel isn’t necessary for the exams so expect that this year we will see higher success rate public schools reopened but attendance has been so low many classes have been cancelled so private Institute’s like these are flourishing many public school teachers earn double salaries by giving private lessons classes here cost over $600 per subject too expensive for many lower income families and so the inequality gap threatens to further widen students who can’t afford private tutoring have little choice but to keep protesting and hope for a better education for all.

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