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The Scope of Instruction in Kurdish

According to the syllabus of the primary course of study of 1928, which was in use at least until 1942, twelve "subjects" were taught in the six grades of Arabic language primary schools: Religion (20 "lessons," i.e., hours per week), Arabic (49), Arithmetic and Geometry (34), Geography and History (18), Objects Lesson [natural science] and Health (12), Civic and Moral Information (12), English (18), Arabic Penmanship (9), Drawing and Manual Training (13), Physical Education (11) and Singing (5) making a total of 192 hours.

According to Akrawi (1942:181, 197), this regular course of study was modified for Kurdish and Turkish schools-Mathematics, Geography, Objects Lessons, and Civics and Morals were to be taught in Kurdish. Singing classes were both in Arabic and Kurdish; also, the periods given to Arabic language (49) and Arabic Penmanship (9) were divided between Kurdish and Arabic (cf. Table 52).

Tile share in the total 49 hours of language instruction was 26.5%. It seems, therefore, that the syllabus aimed at providing enough time to teach Arabic to Kurdish students at the expense of proficiency in Kurdish. Penmanship classes did not present any problem since the two scripts are, except for Kurdish diacritics, the same (two out of three penmanship periods in each of the second, third and fourth grades were devoted to Kurdish).

Table 52: Teaching Arabic and Kurdish in
Primary Schools of Kurdistan, Iraq, 1928
Table 52
Source: Based on Akrawi (1942:181, 197)

Source: Dr. Amir Hassanpour, "Nationalism and Language in Kurdistan 1918-1985", 1992.

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