Education ministry, UNICEF ink MOU to enhance co-op

October 30, 2020 - 16:51

TEHRAN – The Ministry of Education and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to expand cooperation for 2020-2021.

Iran's deputy education minister for international affairs Gholamreza Karimi and UNICEF Representative in Tehran Mandeep O'Brien discussed further cooperation in a meeting held in Tehran on Thursday.

During the meeting, Karimi expressed readiness to cooperate with UNICEF to improve the quality of education in compliance with Iran’s Islamic approaches.

He discussed the activities of the Ministry of Education on combatting the pandemic and school reopening and asked UNICEF to provide the ministry with the best global experiences in the field of education.

O'Brien, for her part, also praised Iran's efforts in education coverage, especially 99 percent student enrollment and the elimination of inequality in the education of girls and boys; and announced readiness to cooperate with Iran in intercultural education for refugees and to provide successful global experiences on education.

Supporting the expansion of education for children with special education needs, improving the quality of education, learning in crisis situations (focusing on the COVID-19 crisis), providing technical support for the development and updating of standards and tools for monitoring water and sanitation, preventing the coronavirus outbreak in schools, developing an action plan to identify and attract drop-out children, and keeping out-of-school children in the national education system in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor are among the most important areas of cooperation between the Ministry of Education and UNICEF in 2020-2021.

According to the censuses conducted between 1976 and 2016, the Iranian literacy rate of urban areas has increased from 65.5 percent to 99.8 percent. At the same time, the literacy rate in rural areas has increased from 30.5 percent to 78.5 percent.

According to the statistics, about 800,000 who have completed primary education drop out of secondary education each year in the country.

Some 140,000 children are missing out on education across the country, Abdolreza Fooladvand, head of Tehran’s Department of Education said in July.

Deputy Education Minister Rezvan Hakimzadeh has said that in the school year 1396-1397 (beginning Sept. 23, 2017), some 142,502 children were missing out on education across the country, while 31,910 of them returned to schools.

While provinces of Sistan-Baluchestan, Tehran, Khorasan Razavi, Khuzestan, and Kerman have the most out of school rates, provinces of Semnan, Zanjan, Ilam, Qazvin, and Yazd have the lowest number of children not receiving education at schools, she added.

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