The new school year has begun in Iran on September 23, and the whole depth of the social crises in Iran has been shown.
Hundreds of demonstrations took place across Iran just before the start of the 2021 academic year, with teachers and academics protesting about their poor living conditions. Protests were held in Tehran, and many other cities, outside the education ministry and government offices.
Iranian teachers are protesting the regime’s destructive policies, its failure to rank teachers based on their years of experience and education, refusing to adjust their meager wages with the rising inflation rate, and its refusal to pay pension for retired teachers or salaries teachers on time.
Among the chants during the latest demonstrations were: “Officials are giving false promises”; “Teachers will die but won’t accept disgrace”; “Retired teachers reflect the situation of employed ones”; “Education workers are awake and fed up with lies”; and “Imprisoned teachers must be freed.”
The Iranian Teachers Coordination Council gave a statement to mark the beginning of the new academic year underlining their demands. The statement read, “The government and Parliament are obliged to approve this initiative. If this initiative is approved and implemented, the legal basis for teachers’ wage will be at least 80 percent of that of faculty members, because teachers and members of faculty boards should be receiving equal salaries.”
The poverty line in Iran is 120 million rials (about $437 per month). Yet many teachers receive 35 million rials, which means they are paid about 1,300 euros a year.
State-run Kar-o Kargar daily wrote in their publication on September 21 that regime officials are blaming rising wages for the country’s skyrocketing inflation, however, the 10% increase in wages does not comply with the current poverty line which sits at 10 million Tomans.
Due to inflation, the cost of stationery for students is nearly 3 million Tomans and as workers barely receive 4 million Tomans, that would mean that most of their salaries would be spent on their children for school supplies.
Considering the worsening state of the Covid-19 pandemic in Iran, the regime has yet to decide whether schools should continue with online classes or if children can start attended school again.
Many Iranian students, as young as seven years old, have committed suicide in the past two years for not having the ability to purchase a smartphone for attending online classes. In recent years, regime officials have acknowledged the government-linked state media, which profits from online classes or in-person classes.
As the regime is wrapped up in ‘institutionalized corruption’, the mullahs’ have resorted to plundering the national wealth to ‘fund illicit activities in the region’. Many educational institutions are involved as they are connected to other corrupt institutions owned by regime officials.
To add to the crises that Iranian teachers and students are already facing is the worsening Covid-19 crisis. As the regime has refused to vaccinate the entire population and has banned foreign, reputable vaccines from being imported in favor of producing domestic vaccines, many Iranian families are fearing that their children will be infected with the latest variant of the coronavirus. Those children and adolescents that are being vaccinated are being given the highly controversial Sinopharm vaccines.
These crises and the regime’s actions have indeed increased the public’s hatred toward the regime. The recent protests by teachers and people from other walks of life demonstrate this public hatred toward the regime.