Saturday 5th October marked World Teachers’ Day. Such a day is supposed to be filled with celebration, with the educators and teachers of the world being honored for the crucial role they play in teaching the young people that will one day shape the future.
However, in Iran this day was marked with protests and calls for teachers to be treated with the respect that they deserve.
The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the main opposition to the Iranian regime, pointed out that access to an adequate and suitable education is what pushes society towards the future. It also pointed out that it creates a just and equal society that empowers women. However, women are far from being treated equally in Iran.
They point out that education is what can change this, but it can only be effective when the conditions are right. In Iran, the conditions for teachers are atrocious. They do not have any job security, their working standards are terrible and they do not have equal pay. By even the lowest of standards, the situation for a teacher in Iran is below what is acceptable.
Teachers do not have medical coverage and instead of being able to dedicate their lives to teaching, they are left to worry about how they are going to make ends meet.
In many countries, teachers are very well paid and are highly educated. A teacher in Iran on a permanent contract would expect to earn roughly $284 per month, but many teachers in Iran are working on temporary contracts, bringing them in just $87 per month. To put this in perspective, the minimum wage is $132 per month. Furthermore, the average family of four needs a combined income of $700 per month, just to be able to afford to eat and to buy the most basic of essential items.
This means that the majority of teachers in the country are living under the poverty line.
The situation for female teachers is even poorer when we consider that there are no maternity leave allowances. They are also not paid during the summer holidays and do not have any kind of leave during the New Year holidays.
Education in Iran is supposed to be available and free to everyone, but this is far from being a reality. Many families cannot afford the essential items required for school and have no option but to forego education for their children. Those in deprived areas are worse off with a lower rate of children attending school.
The education system is not just letting the teachers and children down in Iran, but it is also affecting future economic growth. Brain drain is a major problem in the country, with many professionals moving abroad to where conditions and salaries are better.
Instead of allocating a larger portion of the budget to education, the regime is choosing to plunder the nation’s wealth on its ballistic missile and nuclear programs, as well as the spread of chaos and terrorism across the region and beyond.