Al-Mobdioon Primary Private School
How e-learning helped this Iraqi school survive the COVID crisis
When COVID-19 reached Iraq, no school could have been better prepared to shift to online learning than Al Mobdioon. Founded in 2008 and now regarded as one of the best private primary schools in Mosul, Al Mobdioon introduced e-learning tools into its classrooms early on in its existence.
Al Mobdioon’s curricula also reflect this innovative mindset. It offers the national primary school curricula, adding a range of study materials in English and French, as well as some more forward-thinking subjects. Students in grades 5 and 6 are exposed to study materials on robotics and the school even sent teachers abroad to receive training on artificial intelligence. Al Mobdioon also offers environmental studies as an elective subject which focuses on sustainability.
Iraqi schools were forced to send students home in March 2020 as part of the government regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19. Al Mobdioon’s focus on e-learning meant that it could quickly and easily shift teaching online. “We continue presenting lessons to all our students through the school’s own virtual platform, in addition to joining the governmental platform where homework is shared and exams are even possible,” explains Dr. Mohammed Najib Abdul Mawjood, who heads up the school’s administrative board.
However, the economic impact of the virus affected the payment of school fees as many parents saw the lockdown eat away at their incomes. At the same time, the Iraqi Ministry of Education also announced the reduction of private school fees by 10%. This left Al Mobdioon with a large receivable balance – something the school had never experienced before. “This negatively affected our commitments to meet our financial obligations in the specified time,” Mohammed says.
Private schools play a critical role in the Iraqi education system, as the quality of teaching and facilities in government schools has deteriorated. In Mosul, the education sector is still recovering from the period when the city was under ISIS control which saw many schools demolished. With student numbers in public schools often reaching 60 to 80 per class, many Iraqi families now choose to enrol their children in private schools like Al Mobdioon.
GroFin’s Northern Iraq Investments (NII), with the support of USAID through a gift from the American people, is extending $1.5 million in financing to help small businesses in northern Iraq survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
The school employs 58 people, including 48 women. The financing it received from NII will enable the school to cover salaries and other expenses until parents can pay the outstanding school fees. “The financing we received from GroFin will be used to pay the school’s previous financial dues caused by the crisis. A portion of the amount will also be used to develop the facilities to activate remote learning with better technology than before,” Mohammed says.