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Fifty Percent Of Tehran Schools Dilapidated

An elementary school classroom in Iran, undated.

Criticizing education’s share in the government’s new budget bill, a Tehran member of parliament, Farideh Oladghobad has disclosed that 50% of the capital’s schools are dilapidated.

In an interview with parliament’s news website, Ms. Oladghobad said on Sunday, January 21 that 50% of Tehran schools are located in dilapidated buildings and this has dire “financial and life-threatening consequences”.

An educator and a pro-reform MP, Oladghobad called upon President Rouhani to allocate an exclusive budget for addressing the ominous problem.

According to Ms. Oladghobad, air pollution and dilapidated urban textures are the main challenges the capital is confronted with.

Earlier, when it was reported that eighty schools were totally demolished in last November’s 7-3 magnitude earthquake in Karmanshah, western Iran, the Minister of Education, Mohammad Bat’haei declared that one third of school buildings across Iran are unsafe.

Referring to insufficient budget for retrofitting these school buildings, Bat’haei hoped that the problem would be tackled through the Sixth Five-year Development Plan.

Furthermore, the director of renovation of Tehran Schools, Dariush Varnaseri announced on December 10, 2017 that there are more than one thousand unsafe educational sites across Tehran province.

A week earlier, Tehran Times had cited director of Iran’s schools renovation, development and equipment organization Mohammad Taqi Nazarpour, as saying, “Nearly 1.5 million students are studying in old and structurally unsafe school buildings across Iran”.

He highlighted that since 2006 some 50 percent of the schools nationwide have been reconstructed and the rest are waiting for budget allocation to be renovated.

According to Varnaseri, Tehran needs roughly $250 million to re-build dilapidated schools and another $110 million to make them earthquake resistant.

In total, tackling the problem of life threatening, ramshackle school buildings in Tehran needs around $360 million budget which is non-existent.

The budget needed for renovating or reconstructing each dilapidated school, according to an Education Ministry official, amounts to nearly $450,000.

According to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC-run Tasnim news agency, in Tehran alone some 700 schools are in a state of ruin and are unsafe for students.

Despite the fact that these schools are listed as ‘ramshackle schools’ they still admit students annually and no one seems to care unless a disaster strikes, Tasnim insisted.