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UN Brings 24-Hour Educational TV To Iraqi Children

UN Launches Educational Television Channel For Iraqi Children

New York, Oct 21 2008 10:10AM

Iraqi children who are unable to attend classes due to security concerns will now be able to continue their studies through distance learning thanks to a new educational television channel launched today by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Education Ministry.

The Iraqi Educational TV Channel, IRAQI EDU, is designed particularly for primary and secondary school students both within and outside of Iraq, and comes in response to security risks that result in a high rate of absenteeism and the closing of schools.

The $6.5 million project, financed by the European Union, will air educational episodes that are based on the Iraqi school curricula 24 hours a day. The programming will also contain messages promoting values such as peace and tolerance as to contribute to the peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts in the strife-torn country.

"It is crucial, especially in these difficult circumstances, to support everyone's right to education, and to use innovative methods to reach all students. Education plays an essential role in building peace and reconstruction," said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura.

"IRAQI EDU is a promising contribution; it opens new learning opportunities for vulnerable young people. In addition, it can inspire initiatives in other countries and regions that are in conflict or post-conflict situations," he added.

The Secretary-General's Special Representative, Staffan de Mistura, hailed the initiative and said the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) stands ready to help UNESCO and the Ministry in this important endeavour.

ENDS

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