Iran: Luxury Schools and Schools in Slums

Based on numbers published by state-run media in Iran, the number of children involved child labor is increasing and those actually in schools are unfortunately decreasing with each passing year.

“We may have under 50 special and luxury schools. Most of these schools, more than 30 of them, are in the north of Tehran, and unfortunately, most of our officials live there.”

Ghodrat Allah Alizadeh tried to cover up the deep divisions between the two kinds of schools in Iran and added: “12 percent of students attending non-public schools have removed a heavy burden from the government. Under the Sixth Development Plan, this should reach 25%. By law, the government must support (the plan).”

But deep divisions were shown when he said: “According to Article 8 of the law, we have eight conditions for establishing a school that most officials have in place, but the issue of insider information is mentioned here, and the person in charge may be able to take action to keep the person who does not have the insider information back.”

And he tried to help get away the officials from this division and said: “Of course, it is clear that these few thousands of students are not just the children of the authorities but also families who have a large financial base. The problem is that the government must support non-special schools so that they can compete with these special schools.”

Alizadeh defended the rights of the regime’s official to manage school and added: “There are defined conditions and the right of citizens to establish a school if there is a legal framework for licensing. If someone has made 30 years of managerial work in education but is not able to manage a school, who else should be able? Having a school is not a problem, but abusing legal terms is inappropriate and inaccurate.”

Taibeh Mahroozzadeh, a member of the Supreme Council of Education and the wife of Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel, senior adviser to the Iranian Supreme Leader and former head of Iran’s parliament and head of the literary academy, said: “We founded a nonprofit school because when my son reached the age of high school and wanted to study humanities, there wasn’t a suitable school available for him.”

There is a shortage of more than 100,000 teachers in Iran, while according to the reports of the statistics center, more than 1.340 million people with bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, who make up 40 percent of university graduates, are currently unemployed.

Consider this confession by the state media: “About 60% of Iranian homeless people have postgraduate education or specialized skills but have been driven out of the community due to addiction or poverty and live on the streets.” (State-run newspaper Hamshahri, 28 October 2019)

Another fact which shows the deep division in Iran’s education system was referred to by the state-run daily Arman which wrote on 24 September 2019:

“One can easily see that the schools have been transformed into commercial-financial institutions whose main concern is to make a profit and to look at the student as a wealthy customer. It divides society into two blocks – wealthy and poor – that institutionalize the system of social discrimination and class conflict in society.”

And the official news agency IRNA showed another side of this disaster. It wrote on 15 September 2019 with the title “financial circulation of non-profit schools”: “At present, primary school tuition in Tehran costs at least 3.200 million tomans and at most 9.427 million tomans, the Junior High School costs at least 5.546 million tomans and at most 11.541 million tomans, and Secondary School costs at least 5.963 million tomans and at most 14.621 million tomans.”

Meanwhile, according to Article 30 of the constitution, education in Iran should be free at the elementary and secondary levels, but now, according to government media, 24 types of nonprofit schools have been established and are run by government officials; each of them looting the student’s ‘parents’, making education a cover for looting the deprived people of Iran.