School gives hope to Iraqi children of all faiths

By April 30, 2008

Iraq (MNN) — The Gulf War left the Iraqi school system in shambles. But seven years ago, a new school came into the picture that gave people a little hope for the future of
their children.

In 2001, it was the Classical School of the Medes (CSM) that drew the attention of Christians, Muslims and government officials alike to the Evangelical Church of Iraq (ECI). With
the help of Partners International, they now have three similar schools for primary-aged students.

Pastor Yousif, a partner of Partners International, wanted to help the younger generation by providing quality education. The schools have an American accreditation which makes them attractive to government and community leaders whose children usually account for the majority of students at the student body. They offer English curriculum and literature.

Partner's Middle East Area Director said, "The Classical Schools in Iraq are the most promising hope for that country."

Teachers who were receiving benefits in the public schools chose to begin teaching, instead, at the Classical Schools, even though they knew they may lose their benefits. The government allowed them to keep the benefits for two years until they changed their policy. The teachers then lost their benefits but believed that the experience they were having at the Classical school was worth more than the benefits they would get if they returned to the public
school. 

The school has opened doors for sharing the Gospel every day with children who otherwise would not hear it. One Muslim father who sends his four boys to the school, said even if he had to borrow money, he would keep his children in the Classical school. "I like the school, and I like the Christian attitude in the school, and I want my kids to be raised in such a spirit," he said. With so much bad news coming out of Iraq, it is
nice to hear that for many children the future is looking a little brighter.    

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