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Workers, who were hired by a local contractor, put some of the finishing touches on the wall that will surround the newly refurbished teachers institute in Hit, Iraq, April 13. The institute is expected to be completed in June and will be capable of training 300 elementary level teachers at any given time.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Paul Torres

Hit gets an A+: new institute to train teachers

23 Apr 2008 | Lance Cpl. Paul Torres 1st Marine Division

The future of any society lies in the development of its children.

To encourage the further development of the education system within the Hit district, Marines with the Regimental Combat Team 5 Civil Affairs Group are funding a project to renovate the Hit Teachers Institute.

“Right now, there is a shortage of teachers,” said Lt. Timothy J. Rajcevich, 25, from Waukegan Ill., civil affairs team leader, Detachment 1, Civil Affairs Team 3, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5. “Most of the teachers have to go to Rawah, (Iraq), to be trained and a lot of the time they will not come back to Hit to teach.”

The four-story building that will be the home for the institute had previously been used as a military outpost by Coalition forces within the city of Hit.

“When the building was demilitarized, we set up a project to fix it up so that it could be used as a place to educate teachers,” said Cpl. Brendan A. Ryan, 26, from Hammond, Ind., who is the security chief with the Detachment 1, CAT 3. “There was a lot of damage, and they have pretty much had to strip everything out from the roof down.”

A local contractor was hired to renovate the building, and CAT 3 has overseen the work.

“The building’s structure was fine. Much of the renovation consisted of repairing the windows, rewiring the electricity, restoring the plumbing and the erection of a wall around the building,” said Rajcevich. “When it is finished, the building will be able to train 300 teachers at any given time.”

The building is expected to be finished in June, and the construction has been progressing along quickly.

“We hired a contractor who knows what he is doing and takes pride in his work,” said Rajcevich.

The institute will train teachers for grade school levels of education. Upon completion of the school, the teachers will be spread throughout the Hit district to meet the demand.

“There are plenty of schools and children who are in need of a (teacher),” said Rajcevich. “The refurbishment of the Hit Teachers Institute will secure the development of the Iraqi students.”

1st Marine Division