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Iran: Risk of Fire Lurking Worn-Out Schools

According to the authorities of Iranian regime’s education ministry, there are 35,000 non-standard educational facilities in Iran.

Mohammad Javad Fatemi, head of the community of burned patients and doctor of Shinabad school children, says it is unsafe in school during the winter and there is danger of fire.

“There are currently not many safe schools in the country, especially in deprived areas such as Ilam, Kermanshah and Kurdistan,” the state-run ISNA news agency quoted the doctor as saying. “According to education authorities, we have 35,000 non-standard classrooms; this means there are 35,000 potentially Shinabad and doroudzan schools in the country. Each of these schools can leave a number of burned patients with a small incident.”

A fire at a school in the city of Marvdasht in Fars province (southern Iran) occurred in December 2006. Eight students were burned down by the class’s heating element, a kerosene heater, and these heating system continue to live with some change and transformation in forms.

Six years later, and again in December (December 5, 2012), the kerosene heater of the girl’s classroom in Shinabad School in Piranshahr (western Iran) caught fire. Two girls died because of the severity of the injuries. Fingers of three students were cut off and the rest of the students had face injuries due to fire. Twelve of these girls still need advanced facial repair surgery.

Earlier, Mohammad Javad Fatemi said that Shinabad girls were supposed to receive special government support but the education ministry and health ministry do not pay the cost of their treatment and expenses.

head of the Schools’ Renovation, Development and Equipment organization, Mohammad Taghi Nazaripour, in October 2017, said 83,000 classrooms had no standard central heating system and were equipped with radiant and gas heaters: “There are currently 987 wooden and rocky classrooms in the country and part of them are supposed to be collected by the end of the 2017 school year and partly in the year 2018. There is also supposed to be no fuel in the classroom. For this reason, the central system outside of classroom space will be used to standardize educational spaces.”

According to Nazaripour, 1,700 Conex are used by the students as school classrooms in some parts of Iran, including those in the nomadic region. These are the classes with the lowest levels of safety and fire prevention.

The doctor treating Shinabad’s school children warns of potential fires in schools, but the insecurity of Iranian schools is not limited to fire hazards.

Mohammad Qomi, a member of the Education and Research Commission in the tenth parliament, told the state-run ILNA news agency in October 2017 that some schools are in critical condition and 30% of Tehran’s schools have the least resistance to earthquake-related events, but ministry of education has no budget for rebuilding schools and making them resistant to earthquake.

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