Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, November 15, 2020—Should teachers have to rally and protest to enjoy a decent life in dignity? While teachers in Iran are concerned making ends meet with an uncertain future regarding their occupations, how can they be expected to fully dedicate themselves to providing adequate education and teaching to the country’s future generations?
Do terms such “dignity” and “a decent life” mean anything to a teacher who has to go to a second job and work under harsh conditions, following several hours of teaching, just to provide the basics for his or her family?
Over the past few months, part-time and retired teachers, and teacher with formal contracts have held protesting rallies across the country to realize their most basic and legitimate demands, including receiving their salaries, annual payments and pensions.
Director of the regime’s Department of Education in the city of Sabzevar in Khorasan province acknowledged that up to 15,000 educational staff members across this city have contracted Covid-19. Nevertheless, regime officials do not offer any health and medical service to them while some teachers after 15 years of service are working on part-time contracts.
Upon their employment regime authorities enforce these teachers to sign a contract in which it is stipulated, “I received my salaries in full.”
This is while, regime’s Education Ministry pays far less salaries to part-time teachers in comparison to employed teachers.
“Part-time teachers, some having 18 years of experience, are receiving four to five million rials per month,” according to a member of the regime’s Majlis (parliament). This is equal to literally $14.45 to $18. The state-run Hamshahri daily published an article saying: “Some part-time teachers are college graduates with Master’s degrees and their salaries amount to just two million rials a month.” This is equal to $7.75.
“I know many others with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees who have taught and are teaching right now and yet they receive less than five million rials ($18) per month,” according to a September 22 piece posted on the state-run Asr-e Iran website.
Teachers with full-time contracts receive an average 30 million rials per month or $1,200 annually. This is three times below the regime’s official poverty line. In other countries, teachers receive far more in salaries and in some cases up to nine times a teacher’s pay in Iran. In Switzerland, teachers are paid $70,000 annually, $65,000 in Germany, $56,000 in Canada, $36,000 in Qatar, and $25,000 in Turkey.
In spite of the regime’s low pay to Iran’s teachers, the state forces them to choose whether they accept this dismal salary or be fired.
“To receive payments means that we offer our services in full. Anyone who does not consent to these terms should not sign the related contract. For those who sign it, no excuse is acceptable. This concerns nothing. Issues such as delayed paychecks, being paid less, or anything,” said the regime’s Education Minister on November 2, according to the semi-official ILNA news agency.
However, Iranian teachers have never ever submitted to the regime’s cruel oppression and discrimination. More specifically, regarding the latest measures by the regime’s Minister of Education, teachers have always spoke out and voiced their protests against the regime over their inefficient salaries and the regime’s cruel treatment.
When teachers hold protests and chant “Decent life and dignity are our legitimate rights,” this is not just a slogan by itself. Quite the contrary, these slogans refer to their ruined and plundered lives under the mullahs’ regime.
Their protests include a rally on October 12 held by representatives of preschool teachers from all over the country before the Education Ministry building in Tehran. The rallying teachers protested low payments and officials’ refusal to finalize their employment contracts.
Over the past few years, teachers have voiced their protests all over the country voicing three major demands:
-Ending the regime’s oppressive policies
-Ending the regime’s discrimination policies
-Receiving their long overdue wages
Plundering and robing the teachers in Iran is just one aspect of the mullahs’ oppressive policies towards the Iranian society.
As a matter of fact, this establishment is neither able nor does it intend to acknowledge the teachers’ legitimate demands, nor any other segment of Iran’s society. This signals an unbreakable deadlock between the regime and the people.
This is an impasse that places the regime before a very restive society as crises continue to mount while solutions are nowhere in sight.