‘Passion for affection’ begins to help students in need

September 14, 2020 - 18:1

TEHRAN – A national plan titled Shoor-e Atefeha, literally meaning ‘passion for affection’, has been launched concurrently with the start of the new school year to encourage the public participation for supporting deprived students across the country amid the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Within the framework of a broader campaign called Iran-e Hamdel, literally meaning sympathetic Iran, the plan started on Saturday and will run through October 2.

The first phase of the ‘sympathetic Iran’ campaign was launched at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan (April 23) aiming to provide financial assistance to the needy affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has collected 1.5 trillion rials (nearly $35 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials).

The second phase of the sympathetic Iran movement with the aim of cooking and distributing warm foods among the deprived started on Eid al-Ghadir Khumm (August 9) until the end of Safar (the second month of the lunar-based Islamic calendar).       

The third phase also started on Sunday and continue until October 2.

Providing tablets for online school courses for about 750,000 students is on the agenda, and besides that, efforts are being made to provide other educational items such as stationery, clothes, and shoes to needy students, Seyed Morteza Bakhtiari, the head of the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, said.

Iranian benefactors, charity centers, and religious organizations take part in the campaign by cash and kind contributions.

Schools reopened under strict health protocols

A week earlier, over 15 million students attended schools nationwide for the new school year under strict health protocols to protect teachers, staff, and students against the coronavirus pandemic.

Each year, Iranian students start the school year on September 23, which marks the first day of autumn on the Iranian calendar, after three-month summer vacation, while this year, in the light of the pandemic, the school year was started 18 days earlier.

This year, education is followed in three forms of in-person, virtual, and television-based, but our priority is school attendance, all schools should strictly follow the health regulations so that the students are protected, Education Minister Mohsen Haji Mirzaei said.

Students have been banned from morning ceremonies and sports activities in schools this year.

All educational centers in Iran were closed from late February and reopened on May 16, after almost three months of closures in the wake of the pandemic after a TV announcement by the education minister. The schools also ran the final year exams in the third week of May.

In order for students to keep in touch with their studies, the Ministry of Education launched a homegrown mobile application on April 9, called SHAD, providing students with distance learning programs. He added that more than 60 percent of students and 94 percent of teachers attended 64 percent of classes through the SHAD app, whose acronym in Persian translates as the Students Education Network.

Moreover, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) also began to broadcast televised educational programs on a daily basis after school closures.

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