While teachers all over the world enjoy special respect among people and even governments and consider the teacher's responsibility even higher than that of parents, but in Iran, under the rule of the mullahs, a teacher's job is not only not credible, but Iranian teachers do not even have the bare minimum of an ordinary life. Teachers' salaries are not even enough to support their expenses, and many of them have to work in other means, such as Uber drivers to make ends meet.
Most teachers are tenants and do not even dream of owning their own home. In recent years, the clerical regime, in order not to burden the teachers' pensions, has hired temporary teachers in order to have a free hand to fire them whenever they want. Some of these teachers, who already have 10 years of service, are still working on a temporary basis, and the Ministry of Education says they cannot be hired.
Of course, according to them, the necessary condition means total commitment to the Supreme Leader's government and not educational skills. As Khamenei said in his Teacher's Day speech to the education minister and directors, "It should not be the case that everyone enters education like this". Teachers must have passed the "filter of Farhang University", which means the filter of the Velayat-e-Faqih dependency.
And while the Iranian education system faces a shortage of 197,000 full-time teachers, more than 58,000 work as temporary teachers. Of these, only 6% are insured and more than 94% have no health insurance premiums. This situation has caused teachers to protest continuously in recent years and demand their rights in various rallies in all Iranian cities.
But instead of heeding their demands, the regime has repressed the teachers by detaining, arresting, dismissing, deporting their leaders and effectively reducing their salaries by reducing their teaching hours.
According to education officials, during the last year they have been able to save 40% of education expenses. On the other hand, by implementing a privatisation policy to make maximum use of teachers, on the one hand, it imposes comprehensive poverty on teachers, and on the other hand, by building public schools for the rich class of society that is affiliated to the government, they have practically provided the most educational opportunities for these people.
For example, in a public school there are 12 students in each class, while in a public school there are at least 38 students in a class. At the same time, while public or regular schools should not charge students and, according to the constitution, education should be free, but these schools also force families to pay various fees as voluntary assistance.
This is the situation of education and schools in the big cities. In small and remote villages, the situation of schools is indescribable and has to be seen to be believed. In the southern provinces of the country, such as Sistan and Baluchistan and Kerman, there are hundreds of hut schools with almost no facilities such as water and electricity or even benches and chairs for the pupils.
And according to the Islamic Republic News Agency, there are about 5,000 container schools in the country, which are very cold in the cold regions and very hot in the south of the country, and not at all suitable for education. In the cities, more than 30% of the schools are dilapidated, and because Iran is located in an earthquake-prone area, in case an earthquake occurs during school hours, we have to expect heavy losses due to the destruction of these schools.
As a result of all these policies of the regime, not only the teachers but also the students have suffered the most from this situation.
As recent studies show, the literacy level of secondary school students falls and falls every year. Moreover, Iran is at the bottom of the world school ranking, ranking 51st out of 76 countries.
It is clear that this situation cannot last long because people know that Iran is one of the richest countries in the world and the main reason for this situation is the widespread corruption of the ruling system, which instead of considering the educational situation only thinks of plundering more and more for its own interests. And sooner or later the protests that are now being carried out peacefully by the teachers will turn into a raging river that will destroy the current corrupt government in its wake.
Cyrus Yaqubi is a research analyst and commentator on Iranian foreign affairs who investigates social issues and the economy of Middle Eastern countries in general and Iran in particular.