Dropping out of school in order to work and help their families has become one of the main social crises for children in Iran. Many children, even before having the chance to start their education properly and build their own future, are forced to stop studying, leaving these dropouts facing extremely bleak economic and social prospects.
Millions of children and youths across the country are routinely denied or have limited access to education. For those who are fortunate enough to have the opportunity for some level of public schooling, this is often limited to a primary education, which will not help these children enough to build a brighter future for themselves.
Even for those who do attend high school, the promise for a future based on their education is dim, which is causing many students to drop out, in addition to the students who are forced to leave the school at the very first stages.
This crisis has created a society of children who are left on the streets, struggling to survive. Across Iran, the number of these children has now reached one million.
By examining the recent publications from the Iranian regime’s media outlets, we will find thousands of reasons and statistics for such a situation. Although many of these state-run outlets are hiding the real reason behind this crisis, namely the government corruption, inequality, and wrongheaded educational policies.
According to Alireza Kazemi, the regime’s acting Education Minister, in 2021, “210,000 elementary school students and 760,000 high school students” dropped out of education.
The Statistics Center of Iran has announced the dropout statistics of “primary and secondary schools” in the academic year 2020-2021 which is “about 970,871 thousand students.”
This statistic of dropouts in Tehran alone is the highest number in the country. We can only imagine how extreme the situation is in other regions of the country, especially in the poor and border regions.
Behrouz Nazari, the Director of the Research Group on Education and Studies Development and the Development of the University Jihad Organization said, “Tehran is one of the cities with a high number of working children and school dropouts.”
Completely disregarding the regime’s corruption and the social inequality in Iran, he added, “Environmental poverty causes children to be sent to work centers instead of studying.”
Along with the shocking numbers of dropouts in Iran, another aspect that is adding to this crisis is the decline in the quality of education that children are receiving. Many officials are trying to attribute this situation to coronavirus, but this problem existed long before the pandemic began. Ironically, many families were forced to keep their children out of school because they could not afford to pay for tablets and laptops.
Alireza Kazemi explained, “I am talking about the low quality of education in the pre-Coronavirus era, when the skills of reading, writing, and literacy in education were not of high quality, even at that time.”
This is a sad situation for the country’s hope and its future. With the spread of such systematic destruction, the acceleration of dropouts cannot be compensated, and it will only harm future generations and subsequently, the country’s progression.
During Obama’s presidency, the US government handed over about $1.7 billion in cash to the regime. Simply calculated, even with just half of this money, the regime could eradicate unemployment and the crises of child labor and dropouts, but with the regime’s priorities like its nuclear and missile projects, this is unimaginable.