The following table shows the population in the Erbil by district and environment, where it is noticeable that the average urban rate is 76.52% and the average rural ratio is 23.38%. Erbil has the highest urban rate compared to other districts with 92%, while the highest rural rate reaches 82% in Makhmor district.
Education and Literacy:
Population percentage in primary education is 22% in Erbil, which is a high percentage with important implications on the strategic planning in terms of preparing the market to receive this young generation after completing their education. It also requires paying attention to the quality of primary education in which this category is enrolled and shall grow up to lead development in the future. On the other hand, the rate of illiteracy in Erbil is currently high, amounting to 26.8%, which is concentrated mainly among adults category. It is only natural that this percentage decreases with time, especially with addressing school drop outs at different stages of primary education24.
The ratio of people who can read and write in Erbil in 2011 amounted to 73.3%, which is lower than the national average of 90.4%. This percentage varies from one district to another and between males and females in favor of males.
In terms of the number, distribution and types of government schools, a large number of schools in Erbil still adopt the double-shifts system; most of them are in the central district. Indicator to the number of students per teacher amounts to 14 students in total government schools, and the average students-teacher ratio in each classroom is 25 students; both are excellent ratios compared to global standards. However, disparity in these two indicators by district needs to be studied, in addition to the need to review the efficiency of teachers and the quality of the curriculum, which is deemed week by most parties involved in the planning process and in need of comprehensive development and requalification.
24 Information, statistics and indicators for Erbil Governorate 2014, the Ministry of Planning, Kurdistan Statistical Authority, Erbil Directorate of Statistics
25 Socio-Economic Indicators in KRG – Socio-Economic Monitoring System, Ministry of Planning. Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, Dec 2012
26 Information, statistics and indicators for Erbil Governorate 2014, the Ministry of Planning, Kurdistan Statistical Authority, Erbil Directorate of Statistics
27 Information, statistics and indicators for Erbil Governorate 2014, the Ministry of Planning, Kurdistan Statistical Authority, Erbil Directorate of Statistics
Higher and Vocational Education:
In Erbil, there are five public universities, four of which are academic and one is technical, in addition to seven private universities. Public universities include Salahaddin, Koya, Erbil Medical, Soran and Politeknik Erbil (a technical university). Private universities include Ishik, Cihan - Erbil, SABIS, the Lebanese French, Hayat, University of Kurdistan and Bhaan University. Universities vary in size and capacity, as well as in quality of the offered curriculum and disciplines. Polytechnic University of Erbil is the only public technical university.
Analyzing the current status of education reflected a weakness in quality and its inadequacy in terms of modern methodologies and methods of education, in addition to a general weakness and a large variation in teachers’ competencies from one area to another. On the other hand, there is the lack of studies that show market needs and link education output with employment opportunities. Vocational education and training showed weakness in terms of the diversity of available professional disciplines and the number of institutions that offer vocational training. As well, it suffers a shortage in the number of graduates and the absence of the foundations of measuring the competencies of the professionals, which would save time and effort to the employer in selecting the required efficiencies according to standards and foundations measured by supported certificates.
In Erbil, there is now a Department of Vocational Training under the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, subordinating 8 different sections: electricity, refrigeration and air conditioning, generators’ repair, welding, carpentry, sewing, computer and PVC. On the other hand, there is a great market need for craftsmen who have the knowledge and know-how in dealing with modern imported raw materials available in Erbil markets. Gaps emerge evidently in professional skills and behaviors in the construction sector, for example; being a sector witnessing an increasing booming since 2003 until now.