Sheikh Abdul Mahdi Al-Karbalai
My brothers and sisters, I bring to your attention the following matters:
The cabinet’s recent decision to reduce the salaries of senior officials in the state is a step in the right direction for the reform demanded by the people. And one of the other important steps to achieve a degree of social justice is the adoption of the new salary scale that eliminates the differences between state employees in their salaries and allowances, and do justice to those who have been allocated modest salaries that do not provide a minimum of decent living. We have said before, and we reaffirm today, that one of the basic steps of reform, in addition to prosecuting the corrupt and retrieving the money they took unjustly, is to re-evaluate the performance of government officials on a professional and objective basis، and to replace those who their incompetence in performing their duties has been proven with other people to be chosen on the basis of their competence, integrity, and concern for the interest of the people. Choosing the alternate should be based on decisions to be made by a number of experienced and competent employees in the ministries, so that there is no room for accusations of exclusivity or lack of objectivity in the selection. It is obvious that the change is not a requirement itself, but a change for the better is what is required. And that cannot be achieved without following the professional regulations away from partisan, sectarian, territorial, or clan affiliations and so. We hope that the reform measures will be carried out at a faster pace, and that the various parties do their duties in this regard in order to satisfy the people, which is the basis of everything.
The recent step the government took, in which the Central Bank of Iraq lends 5 trillion Dinars to the agricultural and industrial banks, the Iraqi Bank, and the Housing Fund; need firm measures to ensure that the disbursement of these funds is in the correct places, and not to allow heads of corruption and greed to reach these funds like they did in the past years in the names of fake projects. If these funds are disbursed according to correct plans, it would be possible to solve a number of important issues, like the unemployment rates, the diversification of productions base of the country. And there must be complementary steps to achieve that goal, such as, the protection of national products, which cannot, in the current situation, compete with the imported products from abroad in price and quality.
In regards to the public services that there have been repeated talks about their various shortcomings, we want to point out here the eternal suffering of the valued citizens of the province of Basra and their continuing complaints about the lack of availability of drinking water as well as bathing water. And this is an oddity of the situation in Iraq, as Basra is considered the most important source of water resources, while its people are suffering from lack of a pressing basic service, which is the drinking water. It is expected from the central government to pay special attention to this important issue, and does not hesitate to put radical solutions for this big problem in this giving and sacrificial province.
With the beginning of the new academic year, which coincides with the exceptional situations Iraq is going through, we bring to your attention the following:
- Figures published by some international organizations about the increase in the proportion of illiteracy in Iraq, especially among females, indicate future risks to the process of building the Iraqi human scientifically and educationally. It has become necessary for the concerned authorities to take measures to ensure the application of Compulsory Education law, and urge parents, through intensive media programs, to introduce their children to school. And at the same time prevent students from dropping out of school for economical or any other reason.
- Correct educational process is maintained by the efforts of its bases, namely the Ministry of Education, schools administrations, teaching staff, and students’ Teaching styles have evolved a lot in today’s world, and what is required from the concerned authorities is to seek to follow the modern teaching methods in our schools, and the use of modern means of educations, so that students can gain scientific skills and mental capacities that fit in the nature of the present time.
- What is required from teachers is more attention to the educational aspect; especially that Iraq has been through exceptional circumstances of successive wars and crises that reflected negatively on building the national, moral, and psychological components of the characters of many children. We hope that the Ministry of Education and its institutions and the schools’ administrations will pay attention to this aspect in order to achieve the complete and best building of the students. The overall reform process that we all call for must include the educational processes in schools and universities. It is necessary to conduct a comprehensive review to the foundations of these processes and fix them through paying attention to the sobriety and durability of the scientific level of students and building their moral and national characters.
May Allah bless us with goodness and reform. And we ask him to grant victory to our heroic armed forces and to those who support them of the generous volunteers and the ardent tribesmen in their fight against the forces of terrorism.