Iraq has launched a project to build 106 schools in two governorates within an agreement with Chinese companies to construct 1,000 schools, according to an official statement. 

The Education Ministry said in a statement carried by Aliqtisad News and other Iraqi publications that 61 schools would be built in the central-south Diwaniya Governorate and 45 others in the central province of Babil. 

“Authorities in the two governorates had laid the foundation stones for those schools, which are intended to cater for the needs of increasing students,” the statement said. 

It noted that Iraq needs nearly 12,000 new schools due to the steady rise in the number of pupils and the damage of a large number of schools during the war. 

Iraq said in 2021 that 1,000 schools would be built by Chinese firms in line with a project-for-oil agreement signed by the two countries in 2019, stipulating Baghdad would supply those firms with crude oil as payment for projects they undertake. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)