Some schools reported to be reopened
Sulaymaniyah teachers continue strikes as new semester gets underway
SULAYMANIYAH, January 21 – On the first day of the new semester, a series of teacher-led protests and strikes continued to disrupt educational activities across various districts in the Sulaymaniyah Governorate. Despite calls for resuming classes, many educators remained firm in their boycott, voicing demands for payment of long-overdue salaries and financial security.
In Sharazoor, teachers resumed demonstrations, initially congregating in front of the education department before moving to block a key road connecting Sharazoor to Sulaymaniyah. Ali Ahmad, a protesting teacher, expressed the group’s determination, citing four months of unaddressed protests. The involvement of students and their relatives in these demonstrations indicated a growing solidarity with the educators’ cause.
Garmian also witnessed continued strikes, with teachers gathering in Kalar. Despite reported arrests of some educators the previous day, the protesters remained unwavering in their stance against perceived intimidation and threats by the education authorities.
Similarly, in Raperin administration, schools opened their doors but neither teachers nor students returned to the classrooms. A significant number of teachers gathered at the Ranya Education Directorate, chanting boycott slogans despite the presence of a large security force.
In Qaladze, a directive to open school doors was followed but the absence of teachers indicated a continuation of the boycott. The second semester officially started, but educators in Sulaimani, Halabja, Garmian, and Raperin administrations stayed away from schools in protest.
Contrastingly, some schools in the Koya district witnessed a partial resumption of classes. According to Mikail Abbas, director of Koya Vocational High School, over 50% of students attended school on the first day. He noted that while education processes resumed in high schools across the region, not all students had returned.
In Sulaymaniyah, while some schools reopened, others remained closed as teachers continued their boycott. Educators gathered in front of the western education department of Sulaymaniyah, chanting slogans and reinforcing their commitment to the strike. The civil activities police maintained a presence near the protest site but did not intervene.