Who are victims of the economic war between Iran and the USA?
An 11-year-old boy Mohammad committed suicide because he could not afford to buy a mobile phone to attend his online school.
US sanctions, the huge devaluing of the Iranian currency, and Iranian authorities’ mismanagement and corruption have devastated Iranians. People face an increase in the exchange rate, the high cost of daily living, and with the start of schools, the “Shad network” has been added to these problems. Mohammad’s mother says there was only one broken cell phone in our house that could not record a video or send a voice. That was what made my son sad.
Public Relations of education in Deir province has refuted reports that the lack of a cell phone has contributed to Mohammad’s suicide and said since the day school reopened online, Mohammad received a cell phone from school, and his training was provided to him through Shad network!
Muhammad was not the first student to commit suicide in the light of poverty.
Mohammad Mousavizadeh’s suicide news was announced on October 12. The same day Harana’s website delivered a report on the suicide of an 11-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy in Tehran and a village near Ilam, respectively, like Mohammad hanged themselves. The reason for the children’s suicide was the poverty and livelihood problems of their families. These are a handful of cases representative of many. It is shown by Iran’s forensic statistics that adolescent suicide accounts for more than 7% annually. Suicide rates are increasing in Iran. In an interview with ISNA, Hossein Asadbeigi, the head of the socially injured Iran office, represented a report on Iran’s suicide situation and cited population growth as a chief reason for suicide in Iran. Biological, psychological, and social problems can all perform a role in the suicide rate in Iran. But the economic instabilities and social issues are factors of paramount importance, making the family’s parents think about suicide and affect children’s minds. People may feel frustrated by seeing the dramatic increase in cars, property, and other goods prices. People’s hope of improving their livelihoods will be dashed over time.
“Shad Network” is a cause of profound sorrow and regret millions of students.
The social gap in the school system has increased during 40 years of the Islamic republic empowerment. A large proportion of children without money will not access schools, even at a fairly average level. But the spread of the corona has dramatically increased the pressure on low-income families. The possibility of education for a large number of students from low-income families has been eliminated due to corona restrictions, while the Shad network creation has not tackled the problem. It is said by officials that the 3.5 million students are deprived of accessing Shad network. In other words, about 20 to 30 percent of all students during the corona do not have access to educational facilities. But the deputy director of academic planning and rehabilitation at the Exceptional Education Organization in Iran says the figure is more than 40 percent of students not having access to an intelligent system and an online education network.
Article 30 of the Islamic Republic of Iran Constitution declares the government is obliged to provide free education for all citizens until the end of secondary education. This principle, however, has been forgotten for years.
The plan to make Iran’s education system smarter was on the country’s education plan long before the Corona outbreak. All Iranian schools were to be smart by the end of the Fifth Development Plan. The introduction of computers and educational software into classrooms was to mark the beginning of the end to chalk and blackboard. Implementing online educational facilities was among the project’s outcomes. In December 2012, success in making 30000 schools smart was announced by the Hamid Reza Hajibabaei, the then Minister of Education of the Islamic Republic. The news was called a joke by the Iranian media stating that no fundamental components of becoming smart exist in schools. Only one class out of 19 has a video projector and an old computer. They claim that with such facilities, they made not a class but a school smarter!
Schools that do not have a heater, not to mention the Internet
There have been found to be many schools in Iran that lack even the simplest cooling and heating facilities, let alone the “smart” system. It costs too much to equip Iran’s educational system with educational software, infrastructure for connecting schools to educational complexes, teacher training, hiring technical staff, etc. While the education and welfare of the people are not on the Islamic Republic’s agenda.
About the Author
Mahtab is an Iranian Social activist determined to bring a change in society. She is a strong voice for women in Iran.