On January 28, 2015, a delegation of Kurdistan Teachers Union (KTU), led by its President Abdulwahid Haji visited MERI to discuss possible areas of collaboration between the two organisations. KTU highly appreciated the role played by MERI in developing and promoting strategies for reforming the governance system within KRG’s institutions.
Discussions centered around the urgency of reform in the basic and higher education system in the Kurdistan Region. MERI President, Professor Dlawer Ala’Aldeen, emphasised the important role KTU can play in implementing and sustaining the process of reform by engaging relevant ministries and educating and training their members. KTU can share ownership of reform policies, strategies and implementation across the public and private education sectors.
The discussion also focused on how to make trade unions more effective and their contribution to the democratic aspirations of the Kurdistan Region. There is a need to rethink the overall structure and functionality of KTU. The current roles and remits of KTU have evolved from Iraq’s old centralised system where the ruling parties had the ultimate say in regulating trade union operations, and these were embedded in the legislative framework. These need to change and evolve in a democratic way.
Finally, Prof. Ala’Aldeen outlined MERI’s programmes to enhance the role of professionals in management and leadership of government institutions, and how their performance can be managed and monitored to optimise efficiency and productivity.
KTU and MRI agreed to continue this dialogue with the view of initiating long term policy research that involve basic and higher education.
The delegation also included the Vice President Ahmed Saber and members of KTU including Nadir M. Qadir, Nuradin H. Ismail. Khalid M. Khalid, Wishyar Haji, Ismail Hussein and Mahdi Qadir.
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About MERI: The Middle East Research Institute is Iraq’s leading policy-research institute and think tank. It is an independent, entirely grant-funded not-for-profit organisation, based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region. Its mission is to contribute to the process of nation-building, state-building and democratisation via engagement, research, analysis and policy debates.
MERI’s main objectives include promoting and developing human rights, good governance, the rule of law and social and economic prosperity. MERI conduct high impact, high quality research (including purpose-based field work) and has published extensively in areas of: human rights, government reform, international politics, national security, ISIS, refugees, IDPs, minority rights (Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, Shabaks, Sabi mandeans), Baghdad-Erbil relations, Hashd Al-Shabi, Peshmarga, violence against women, civil society. MERI engages policy- and decision-makers, the civil society and general public via publication, focused group discussions and conferences (MERI Forum).