Safe schools increase nationwide

January 29, 2021 - 17:21

TEHRAN – The number of old classrooms in need of reconstruction and retrofitting has been reduced from 30 percent to 19.5 percent over the past four years, Mehrollah Rakhshanimehr, director of the Organization for Development, Renovation, and Equipping Schools, said.

In the Iranian calendar year 1395 (March 2016-March 2017), the number of schools in need of reconstruction and retrofitting was 30 percent, of which some 12 percent must be completely rebuilt and 18 percent must be retrofitted. The rate has reached 19.5 percent, with 12.5 percent of schools in need of retrofitting and the rest rebuilding.

Tehran also has the highest number of old schools. In this province, measures have been taken to reconstruct the schools, but the capital still has the highest number of old schools, he lamented.

The national budget bill for the next [Iranian calendar] year (March 2021-March 2022) has foreseen a 21-percent rise for the renovation and retrofit of schools.

He went on to note that this year (started March 21), there has been a significant increase in budget for renovation of schools, ISNA reported on Friday.

A total of 51 trillion rials (nearly $1.2 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) was proposed for school renovation in the budget bill; which is 21 percent higher than that of the previous year, Rakhshanimehr said.

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; 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.

President Hassan Rouhani officially inaugurated some 1,550 educational, training, and welfare projects across the country in November 2020 via video conferencing.

The projects included 1,422 educational places with 8,051 classrooms, 124 training centers, and 4 welfare centers, measuring a total of 1.1 million square meters.

The Organization for Development, Renovation, and Equipping Schools started operating in the Iranian calendar year 1396 (March 2017-March 2018), which received a budget of 8.5 trillion rials (about $200 million).