These days, some people in Iran no longer find a way to express their pain, therefore, commit suicide in order to end it. Violent suicides and public ones are becoming the cry of protest of Iran’s suffering people, including teachers.
In June 2020, Hossein Gohar Shenas, a 68-year-old Bushehr teacher, hanged himself due to poverty, with a rope that he had prepared himself, but what drove him to take his own life was the exorbitant cost of living and the negligence of officials and his livelihood conditions.
In July of this year, Amin Kianpour, a 43-year-old math teacher in Isfahan, set himself on fire in front of the city’s judiciary over a dispute over a civil case and failure to receive his rights, so that his cry might finally be heard. In August, a teacher on the verge of retirement and with 31 years of service in Nain’s education ended his life.
Some have heard that just a few days ago, a teacher from Fars Province threatened to commit suicide due to his inability to secure a mortgage. The threat of suicide was so serious that his friends solved his problem by collecting money.
Even now, the news of the suicide of a teacher in the city of Gerash is coming from Fars Province. The 32-year-old teacher, Gholamabbas Yahyapour, hanged himself at school, citing financial problems and a loan application.
One teacher in Fars Province, who did not want to be named, said of the teachers’ livelihood problems: ‘Since I was employed in education, I have always seen teachers protesting about their salary and livelihoods more than 20 years ago. Teachers’ legal status is extremely low compared to other government employees.
‘A number of my colleagues have spoken to representatives of Shiraz in parliament about their legal problems, but the answer they heard was that your salary with other civil servants is equal, whereas it is not the case ever teachers have is in their pay stubs and are deprived of job benefits and welfare.’
Iran has a few types of teachers in education. There is a group of corporate teachers operated by contractors who rented schools and their salary is ultimately one million tomans and are mostly present in deprived areas. There are many of these contractors in Sistan and Baluchestan Province. Some of them have even lower wages about 500,000 tomans. They have no insurance and if they are covered by insurance, their wages will become less than one million. And sometimes it takes one year or more than they are paid.
The other group of teachers is entitled part-time teachers, which numbers about 120,000 to 150,000. This year’s salary was about 2 to 2.5 million Tomans. These teachers are deprived of salaries and insurance during the summer and end up paying for the insurance themselves.
The other group is young teachers who entered schools from the Educators University or were recruited through Article 28. These teachers are either contractual or their recruitment has been finalized. The group’s salary, even if they serve five years, is less than 4 million Tomans. In addition, insurance, pensions, and taxes are also deducted from their pay stubs, i.e. about one million tomans are deducted from their salaries.
Teachers working in nonprofit schools have also actually been subjected to modern slavery. Their salary is about 1.2 million tomans a month. This double cruelty occurs in nonprofit schools that earn billions of tomans from student tuition fees, but that’s how teachers are oppressed.
Life for Iran’s teachers has become very difficult. None of them can buy a house, while in other countries teachers are among the best-paid classes of society. Due to the wages, there is no difference between the rural and municipal teachers, but the costs are different.
Many teachers in recent months and years have decided to protest this situation, but every day will have painful blows because of not being paid. Therefore, many of them while fearing the regime’s cruelty are not able to protest while struggling with their daily food.
A society in which its teachers are suffering and decide to commit suicide is a collapsed society, and one can only imagine the situation of the country’s youths who are educated by these suffering teachers.