By Staff Sgt. Peter Ford, MND-B PAOJune 20, 2009
BAGHDAD - A ceremony held at al-Mansour Intermediate School, May 28, celebrated the completion of much needed renovations and the beginning of a stronger education system.
"The school was short on classroom space and in need of repair," said Capt. Shawn Tobin, a Bucks County, Pa., native, and civil affairs platoon leader assigned to the 5th Cavalry Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. "The Ministry of Education coordinated with the Coalition forces to make some much needed repairs and new additions to the school."
The buildings were repainted and broken windows were repaired. The partnership between the Ministry of Education and the U.S. troops also made it possible for the addition of a new building with six classrooms, a computer room, a cafeteria and an auditorium.
"The school renovation is a fine example of the Government of Iraq and the CF working together to make some much needed improvements to the school," said Tobin. "The much needed renovations will further assist the education process and we all know education, along with children, are the key to building a more successful Iraq," he added.
Al-Mansour Intermediate School students use the Art Institute of Baghdad as an education model. The students of the institute made a short film about building a new Iraq called "Pins and Bolts." The short film depicted an elderly Iraqi man as he wakes at the break of dawn, prays and walks out into the darkness of the morning with a sack of tools. The man pulls out a pick axe and begins to chip the concrete on the median of a road. The Iraqi Security Forces surrounded the man assuming the man was planting an improvised explosive device, until the man pulled out a tree. The ISF began to smile and helped the man plant the tree. The short film made by the art students signified the end of planting IED's and the building of something beautiful in Baghdad.
The intermediate school of al-Mansour received something more than renovations from the GoI, the CF and the Art Institute of Baghdad. It received a valuable lesson on the benefits of teamwork. Through teamwork, the school was re-fitted with some additional facilities. Through its short film, the Art Institute demonstrated that education coupled with childhood dreams could be the dawn of an improved Iraq.