Iran Focus

London, 12 Oct - The cost of education and all of the associated costs are preventing many children in the country from ever being able to go to school. Educations costs for families are rising at the same time as their income decreases and the cost of living increases.

Even officials are now admitting that education is becoming more and more out of reach for many families. Officials are calling on the government to take urgent action so that the situation does not get worse.

Ali Khodaei who works for the labour affairs ministry warned: “The prices of all necessary items for families have suddenly escalated, and in this situation, school fees can lead to dangerous consequences. Red alerts are on, for months; it will not be unexpected many students and especially girls to drop out of school if the government does not allocate enough budget for education of labor-class families.”

Stories and reports about the reality of the situation are circulating on social media. In one video that has been widely shared, a woman is heard talking about the excessive prices of school supplies, explaining that some school books cost more than a million Rials. She said that she had spent 8,000,000 Rials on a schoolbag and the basic supplies.

An increasing number of families simply cannot afford these costs meaning that more and more children are out of reach of education. The cost of living has spiked. An average family can now only afford half of what they could afford this time last year.

The United Nations states that children are entitled to education and should not be discriminated on any basis. The Convention on the Rights of the Child explicitly states that primary education should be “compulsory and available free to all”.

Secondary education should be encouraged and should include general and vocational training. It too should be “available and accessible to every child” Financial assistance should be provided “in case of need”.

Furthermore, the Convention on the Rights of the Child states: “No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.”

Iran is completely disregarding the convention and even its own laws (the Iranian constitution indicates that free education should be available to everyone under university level).

The government cannot blame a lack of budget or the economic crisis on this because it has been spending billions on terrorist activities and malign acts across the region. It has heavily supported Bashar al Assad in Syria and it has spent huge amounts on funding proxy groups and militias that prolong and fuel the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. All to the detriment of Iran’s young people.