Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, September 23, 2019—Monday marked the new schoolyear in Iran. 14.6 million Iranian schoolchildren have registered to go to school. But Iran’s schools and education system are not ready to receive these students. Iran’s schools are worn out, non-standard, cramped, and jampacked with schoolchildren. There’s a shortage of teachers and education workers. And the discrimination between services provided to large cities and rural areas makes the situation even worse.
Mohsen Haji Mirzaei, the Iranian regime’s education minister, stipulated last week that there’s a shortage of 100,000 teachers in Iran’s schools. Iranian teachers are often deprived of their most basic rights and are struggling to make ends meet.
Another aspect of the poor state of education in Iran is the worn-out conditions of school buildings, which result from underfunding and poor management by the education ministry. An Iranian regime official recently admitted that 30 percent of schools need renovation and repair. Half of these schools are in Sistan and Baluchistan province, and the rest are in other provinces such as Kerman and Golestan. In some areas, schools are made of clay and thatch, and the buildings can collapse any minute.
In 2016, a schoolgirl in Chabahar died after the roof of her school caved in. Last year, a girls’ elementary school in Sistan Baluchistan caught fire due to the unsafe heating system, taking the lives of four schoolgirls. Fires and building collapses in Iranian schools have become very common.
Last June, state-run IRNA News Agency reported that approximately 27 percent of Iran’s school buildings are ruined, 34 percent require renovation and only 39 percent of schools have reliable buildings. IRNA concluded that 1.5 million schoolchildren are studying in buildings that need to be renovated and 2 million children are in serious danger.
Iranian universities too have not remained untouched by the regime’s mismanagement. Last year, a bus carrying students from the Science and Research unit of Tehran’s Azad University veered off a steep, mountainous road and crashed into a cement block, causing the death of 10 passengers and injuring 28 others. The incident was due to malfunctioning brakes, caused by lack of service and maintenance.
While the Iranian children are dying in classrooms for lack of proper facilities and infrastructure, the Iranian regime is squandering the country’s wealth and budget on foreign agendas. One example is the regime’s school-building projects in neighboring countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, which it does in order to smooth the way for its terrorist meddling and the advertising of its corrupt ideology.
The tragic state of school and education in Iran is the mirror image of the rampant corruption that plagues the entirety of the ruling regime. In one case, more than 120 billion rials were stolen from the account of the teachers’ fund.
One of the results of the poor state of education in Iran is the spread of child labor. According to estimates, there are about 7 million working children in Iran.
In the past year, teachers across Iran have been regularly holding protests and nationwide strikes over uncertain job conditions, low wages and discrimination. The regime’s security forces have cracked down on and assaulted teachers on several occasions. Students too regularly protest to lack of services and discrimination in schools.
In a statement on the occasion of the new schoolyear, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hailed the teachers and students who have been standing up for their rights against the Iranian regime. “Iranian students, teachers and professors are rising up to build a free Iran for tomorrow, to establish a society based on freedom, democracy, equality, and separation of religion and state, and to set up a democratic educational regime,” Mrs. Rajavi said. “They seek to build an advanced educational system which is free and mandatory for all children of Iran, a credible higher education based on academic freedom, and a universal athletic regime where every Iranian girl and boy in every city and village would have the chance to freely and equally engage in various sports fields.”