An Iranian regime official acknowledged the catastrophic statistics on the number of children left out of school in Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the beginning of the new school year.
Massoumeh Ebtekar, Presidential deputy on Women and Family Affairs, said, “Sistan and Baluchestan has the country’s largest number of children left out of school. Girl children make up the majority of the children deprived of education.”
This year many families in Iran were forced to send their children to work instead of school because they are not able to pay the costs of their child’s education.
State-run news agency Ilna published a report on September 21 titled “Many students will drop out soon!” and drew a grave perspective for Iranian students saying: “It appears that if things stay as they are, drop-out numbers, especially for girls, will rise. As things are, low-income families, especially in deprived regions, prefer to just ‘survive’. So they must choose between eating enough and continuing their children’s education, and naturally, they will choose survival. On the one hand, living costs and education costs have multiplied, and on the other hand, free education plans have become a thing of the past. In such conditions, there are few low-income families who can pay the cost of their children’s education, especially girls. The red alarm is already shining for a few months. While salaries are still 70 percent behind the increase of life costs, education should be free for everyone and students from low-income families should receive subsidies for stationeries and other educational assistance tools. Otherwise, soon we will face a high rate of illiterates and half illiterates.”
On September 14, Iran’s Ruydad news website published a report in which it revealed damning statistics about the educational conditions of children inside Iran. According to this state-run website, Iranian regime officials are offering conflicting accounts of how many Iranian children have or don’t have access to basic education. Writes the site: “Like many other national statistics, the exact number of children who have been deprived of education is not available. The figures offered by the ministry education differs from that of the Well-being Organization. The Mardom-Nahad body and other NGOs also offer different information.”
The report concludes that such differences between the figures itself speak to the criticality of the situation.
According to Ruydad, the caretaker of the Iranian regime’s labor ministry says that in the first three months of the Persian year (March-June), the government has identified approximately 327,000 children in the streets of Tehran who weren’t going to school. This is the statistics offered by the Well-being Organization.
Taking this figure as a basis to offset the entire country, in the most optimistic calculation, in which the uneducated children of other provinces (31 in total) are estimated at a third of Tehran, the total sums up to around 3.5 million children across the country who aren’t going to school.
The Ruydad report writes: “The situation could be worse than this: According to the most recent consensus, the country’s 7- to 19-year-old population is around 20 million people. If we compare this figure to the last consensus, which counted 12.6 million Iranian students, the count of children deprived of education spikes to 7.4 million!”
Despite all of the evidence, during the presidency of Hassan Rouhani and his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian regime’s education ministry never acknowledged these statistics.
Farideh Oladghobad, a member of the education and research commission in the Iranian regime’s parliament, says, “A while ago, the head of education in one of the counties of Golestan province approached us and said that they are faced with a large number of children who aren’t going to school, most of them being girls.”
Oladghobad added, “We don’t have accurate figures of the number of children who have been deprived of education across the country. For example, in Sistan and Baluchestan province, where the living conditions are harsh, our estimates are 100,000 uneducated children, but we don’t know if the other provinces are worse or not.”
According to the Iranian regime’s constitution, the government is responsible for providing quality education to all Iranian children, but the MP lays the blame at the feet of the people themselves, adding that the regime will be ratifying new regulations to penalize families who don’t send their children to school, not taking into account that a large portion of the population is living in substandard conditions and are struggling to make ends meet.