The educational climate in Iran is bleak. The economic crisis is worsening and more and more people are falling into absolute poverty. At the start of this new academic year, there will be 15 million Iranians going to school in Iran.
However, there are millions of more people that are not going to be attending school or university because the regime has not been able to provide education for everyone. Iran has millions of child workers and other children that will not have access to education.
The country’s education infrastructure is also significantly unproductive, partly because of the growing number of people who are leaving schools or universities. A state-run news agency reported that around 37 percent of students in the country will drop out of school before their education has been completed. And then, of the remaining young people, only seven percent will make it to university.
It is thought that more than half of the dropouts are because of financial reasons.
This situation has led to approximately 25 million people in the country being classed as illiterate.
Many of the high school dropouts continue on to child labor. This is extremely concerning given that the conditions these children are subject to being inhumane and incredibly tough.
The Iranian government is duty-bound to provide free education for all, but this remains just a dream to many. The country’s Constitution states that “all members of the nation” should be provided with free elementary and high school education. In actual fact, the situation is getting worse because Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has cut budgets and forced the closure of many rural schools.
As well as young people being forced out of education, teachers and educators also find themselves faced with massive inequality in the workplace. The average monthly salary of a teacher is less than $300 per month. However, many teachers are not awarded permanent contracts, leaving these “temporary” teachers with a salary of approximately $87 per month.
This is completely inadequate and goes a long way in explaining why more and more teachers are falling into extreme poverty conditions. Many teachers have no choice but to seek additional employment in their free time. One analyst has said that more than two-thirds of teachers may also work as taxi drivers on the side.
Teachers and educators have been protesting and striking because of the dire situation for many years now, with a sharp increase in the past number of years. Non-stop suppression has stopped the education system from progressing, made worse by the regime’s policy of arresting and imprisoning protesters.
The regime sees the young people of Iran and people like teachers and educators as a major threat to its survival, hence the massive crackdown on dissent. It is so worrying that the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council’s Committee for the Islamization of Universities of Iran gave university authorities the power to punish students for any peaceful online activity.
Actions like this, however, do nothing but make the people even more determined for regime change.