Volunteer school builders to set up headquarters

January 10, 2022 - 17:32

TEHRAN - The Organization for Development, Renovation, and Equipment of Schools has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Construction Basij Organization to set up a headquarters for volunteer school builders.

The articles of association of the headquarters has been prepared and approved, Mehrollah Rakhshanimehr, director of the Organization for Development, Renovation, and Equipment of Schools said, adding that the headquarters will establish branches in all provinces of the country, IRNA reported on Monday.

The decision has been taken with the aim of promoting the culture of participation in building schools, especially in deprived and remotes areas, he added.

A total of 158 trillion rials (nearly $585 million) allocated from the national budget to school construction, Rakhshanimehr, director of the Organization for Development, Renovation, and Equipment of Schools added.

Last year (ended March 2021), school building benefactors allocated a sum of 33 trillion rials to construct educational spaces across the country.

"Brick-by-brick" national plan started early last year, aiming to attract public participation for school construction in deprived areas even by buying a brick.

Iran has many school-building benefactors amounting to 650,000 people inside and 1,000 people outside the country.

A total of 36 trillion rials has been allocated to renovate the schools nationwide over the past 8 years, Seyed Mohammad-Ali Afshani, former head of the Organization for Development, Renovation, and Equipment of Schools, said.

According to Nasser Ghofli, the director of the School-Building Donors Association, 400 school-building charities have been registered in the country so far.

A budget of 19 trillion rials has been allocated to rural development projects across the country, Ali Nikzad, head of the Housing Foundation, said in November 2021.

The funding will be spent on building roads, schools, mosques, and expanding infrastructures, he added.

There are currently around 40,000 villages nationwide, each with over 20 families, he noted, highlighting that the reverse trend of migration from cities to villages is a source of happiness.

He went on to say that in the Iranian calendar year 1384 (March 2005-March 2006), just seven percent of rural houses were renovated and strengthened, while the figure has increased to around 50 percent and the rest will be completed by the next ten years.

107,000 schools need renovation nationwide

There are some 107,000 schools nationwide with 530,000 classes, 160,000 of which are dilapidated, not meeting safety standards, accounting for 30 percent of the schools nationwide.

Rakhshanimehr said in August 2020 that some 30 percent of the country’s schools have been constructed by school-building benefactors and there are 450 school-building charities in Iran.

Iran has many school-building benefactors amounting to 650,000 people inside and 1,000 people outside the country.

About 10 percent of charitable schools are built with the participation of charities abroad. This is a valuable asset, which should be promoted.

MG

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