Confirming the shortage of teachers in Iran, the country’s Minister of Education has stated that there is a deficit of nearly 200,000 teachers.

Speaking to reporters following a government board meeting, Reza Murad Sahrai emphasized the importance of teachers in education, saying, “All education relies on teachers. Our tenets are guided by teachers, from the secretary to the minister. Therefore, when a classroom is vacant, other teachers step in to continue educating the children until the primary teacher returns.”

Sahrai attributed this problem to the previous government’s erroneous policies and indicated that his administration is taking steps to hire more teachers.

In recent days, Iranian media outlets have published numerous reports highlighting the issue of classrooms without teachers. Earlier, a member of parliament disclosed that over 23,000 classrooms were missing teachers.

The Iranian Minister of Education has announced plans to address this problem by recruiting 75,000 new teachers between June and September. Additionally, retired teachers and student teachers have been enlisted to help address the teacher shortage for the current academic year. The Minister optimistically claimed, “We anticipate that we will be able to meet the capacity requirements by the end of October.”

October 5th marks World Teacher’s Day, known as “13 Mehr” in the Iranian calendar. UNICEF’s theme for this year is “The teachers we need for effective education” and “Finding a global solution to the teacher shortage.”

In a message, the Azad Union of Workers expressed its hope for better material and non-material conditions for teachers in Iran, emphasizing the need to attract quality, capable, and motivated individuals to the teaching profession.

Previously, Iran had announced its intention to recruit 28,000 new teachers through an examination process, but only 17,000 positions were filled, a fact confirmed by the regime’s Minister of Education.

He attributed the shortage of teachers to the past government’s policies, which prioritized providing teachers over training them. Sahrai asserted, “The shortage began when the capacity of Farhangian University, a strategic institution, dropped to below 4,000 students. However, we are now revising teacher training policies, with plans to increase Farhangian University’s capacity by 20% this year.”

Mohammad Vahidi, a former member of the Education and Research Commission of the Parliament, revealed that “more than 23,000 classrooms across the country lack teachers.”

Activists and union representatives have consistently emphasized that the teacher shortage is not limited to public schools, asserting that it reflects a failure to uphold “educational justice” in Iran, thereby jeopardizing free education.

Teacher trade unions, known for their activism in recent years, have voiced concerns over the “privatization” of education in Iran. In recent years, many teacher and educator union activists have faced increasing pressure from the government, leading to arrests, unemployment, and imprisonment.

The Deputy of Elementary Education of Tehran announced on October 3rd that “if a school lacks a teacher, we have instructed assistants, who are required to teach for six hours a week, to step in and fill the gap in the classroom.”

Domestic media reports have highlighted protests by families in response to the absence of teachers in certain elementary schools. In a report on the situation in Bushehr Province, the Khalij-e Fars News Agency noted, “Some classrooms in schools in Bushehr province have not yet been staffed, or have experienced significant turnover among teaching staff. The shortage of specialized teachers for specific courses has raised concerns about students’ academic performance.”

Tasnim also reported on October 4 that families in Tehran were reporting classrooms without a teacher, sometimes with two teachers responsible for more than 100 elementary school students.

The shortage of teachers, particularly in elementary schools, coupled with inadequate funding, educational inequality, low student performance, and teacher dissatisfaction with evaluations, are problems that need to be addressed this year, as highlighted by the Shargh newspaper in its October 1st edition. These issues have persisted and require concerted efforts for resolution.

Source » irannewsupdate