The Education Ministry statistics show that some one million Iranian teachers make between $200 and $1,400 per month.
The 2014 poverty line in Tehran for a family of five stood at about $900. Teachers sometimes do not receive their salaries for several months. Iranian teachers also do not receive insurance, bonuses and other benefits. Many teachers work two or three shifts or have several jobs, which has a direct impact on the quality of their work.
Enactment of the Pay Parity Bill has been demanded by Iranian teachers, who believe it will promote their livelihoods, and give them minimum benefits and pay equal to that of other government employees.
In Iran, educators do not have the right to organize, however, they have been staging protests nationwide, over the past several years, demanding their basic rights. The regime has not responded to their demands, and security forces have harassed, repressed and imprisoned Iranian teachers. Articles 26 and 27 of the Iranian Constitution guarantee the freedom to hold protests and rallies.
On Thursday, March 10, 2017, thousands of working and retired teachers joined together in nationwide protests, demanding the release of their imprisoned colleagues, and condemning judiciary rulings against the teachers’ community.
The Ministry of Education in Iran has issued a directive on the terms and conditions for employment of teachers. This directive includes a list of chronic and persistent diseases that disqualify teachers from applying for employment.
Many items on the list relate to a teachers’ appearance. Being cross-eyed, or having facial moles or skin conditions, such as acne or eczema, are excluded from employment, as are those who suffer from infertility, cancer, bladder stones, or color blindness.
After it was published by the FARS news agency, the list was so highly criticized on social media and the online community that The Ministry of Education withdrew the circular. However, the Ministry’s spokesman admitted that for many years, teachers were being recruited based on this directive.
It is important that on World’s Teachers Day we remember the teachers of Iran, who bravely continue to educate Iran’s youth.