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2.3: Political, Community and Resource Mobilization

1. Decentralization

1. The government always encourages decentralization and the provinces are permitted to exercise their own ways of development, facilitate improvement or administer different programs. But assigning more authority to provinces is under consideration to establish a partially independent organization of education for the provinces and pass on much of the responsibilities of the central ministry to that organization.

  1. 2. In addition to these responsibilities, school-oriented has been implemented since the school year 1999 to improve the quality of education as well as to decentralize education to the provincial administrations of education.

In this plan, in addition to assigning more authority to schools, teachers’ council, students’ councils and parent-teacher associations have also been formed. The plan involves both parents and students in planning and administering education. As a result, the enrollment ratio is expected to increase and more students will be attending at schools.

Educational Councils

The education system of Iran was completely centralized until 1986. Since that year the Law of Formation of Educational Councils has been executed in provinces and townships, which was considered to be a step towards decentralization. At present these councils have been formed in all provinces and most townships. Some of the duties and authority of Provincial Education Councils are:

  1. Ratification of regulations to estimate the male students’ expenses particularly in deprived areas in order to remove the backwardness of education in these areas.
  2. Approval of educational diversity of dependent districts with respect to the ecological and demographically conditions of each district.
  3. Distribution of collected tolls among districts and townships.
  4. Policy making and planning to build, develop and equip educational spaces in the provinces.

Township Educational Councils are comprised of Friday prayers leader (Imam), the governor, the head of township educational administration, deputy of education in fostering affairs, the head of township council, the mayor, three principals of different levels of education, the head of health network and three to five parents or reliable local people. The tasks of Township Educational Councils are as follows:

  1. Ratification of financial principles of schools.
  2. Making proposals to levy taxes in order to provide educational aids
  3. Distribution of allocated governmental funds
  4. Encouraging the affluent people, industry owners and business community to establish schools
  5. Providing proper facilities to establish non-profit schools
  6. Planning to provide and equip educational spaces
  7. Making efforts to develop general education and to enroll all school-age children in the area so that none of them lag behind in education.
  8. Organizing the facilities to present technical-vocational, skill (Kardanesh) education and students’ apprenticeship according to the new law.

It is worth mentioning that the municipalities play an important role in providing the financial resources for Township Educational Councils.

2. Non-governmental organizations (NGO)

There are few NGOs active in education, and those active ones are in fact affiliated to the government. There had not been a suitable milieu for the NGOs to be active, but since President Khatami’s term of office started on 23 May 1997 we have seen a drastic change in this regard. There has been a great deal of attempt to develop a clear relationship between governmental and non-governmental organizations and make the private sector more active and efficient.

NGOs active in children & teachers’ affairs

A. Pre-School Education Research Center (PERC)

PERC is one of the NGOs in Iran which has been active in improving generalization of early childhood education since 1992 by compiling pre-school education reference books and research programs, etc.

B. National Association of Children Support

Established in 1994, the association which is an independent, non-governmental, non-political and non-profit foundation works on improving the living condition of children in Iran. Some of its important activities are:

- Forming different working groups to do different activities such as establishment of legal, research, educational and cultural secretariats.

- Caring out educational & cultural activities in the "Center of fostering for children"

- Holding educational workshops, conferences, seminars, photo and drawing exhibitions on children’s problems.

C. Setting up a book council in special services sector

Since 1995, a group has been formed for presenting special services for children’s books. By special service, they mean paying attention to different aspects of book and book reading for those with special needs so as to be more familiar with books. The children with special needs are those who suffer from a disability like the visually challenged ones, those with hearing disabilities, mentally disabled ones and those confined to bed in hospitals.

D. Cultural Society of Children and Youth Book Publishers

The cultural society was founded in 1992 and its goals are:

- To pave the way for an increase in the quality of children’s and teenagers’ books.

- To increase the technical knowledge of publishers.

- To organize the distribution of books

- To find the problems of book development and try to solve them accordingly.

At present, this society has 23 publishers as its members.

E. Children’s periodicals

Children’s periodicals have been faced with the problems of inadequate circulation, not being accepted by children, not being interesting and attractive for the readers.

In recent years, despite the development of periodicals, millions of children have been deprived of having a periodical with hundreds of thousands of circulation. Moreover, the authorities are either faced with financial problems or lack of professionals. Since the addressee of these publications can not imagine their own children impression, they reject them.

There are some weekly and monthly magazines in Iran, however, but the results of a research in two classes of fourth and fifth grades of primary school showed that just three out of forty students read the magazine, which is too low.

So there is a need to prepare children’s periodicals in a way that they are more interesting and attractive.

3. Private schools

1.The victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, an important historical event, resulted in drastic changes in all social issues including education.

For the purpose of providing social justice, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, all the schools were made public, and until 1989 there were no private schools.

But since 1990, according to the law ratified by the Islamic Consultative Assembly, the establishment of private schools has been allowed.

At the beginning, the share of private enterprise in educational services was very limited and insignificant. But the increasing economic crises demanded a rapid, organized and more active cooperation of the private sector in educational services. As a result, the number of private schools at primary level increased from 92 in 1990 to 2175 in 1999 with an increase in the number of students enrolled in these schools from 6624 in 1990 to 262,867 in 1998.

The number of the students enrolled in private schools has been increasingly high since 1990. That is, the number of these students to the total number of students in the period 1991-1997 were respectively: 0.33%, 0.57%, 1.03%, 1.61%, 2.61% and 3%

4. Increasing the educational spaces

A. In line with supplying proper educational spaces, totally 54917 classrooms were constructed for the primary level in the period 1990 - 1998.

Table 22: The number of constructed classrooms (1990-1998)

Year

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

Class

7516

7193

6546

10094

7838

5017

3921

3249

3533

B. Broadening of people’s partnership in school construction:

The Ministry of Education has always endeavored to expand people’s partnership in this respect. A lot of attempts have been made to utilize people’s participation since 1990.

17645 classrooms were built by benevolent people and submitted to the Ministry of Education.

Additionally many benefactors participated in school construction by depositing money, paying in kind and donating lands and construction materials.

C. Implementation of a hut-removing plan in the disadvantaged areas of five provinces.

In the deprived and vulnerable areas of the country, about 16000 classes are held in improper spaces such as huts, tents and adobe houses. In order to eradicate deprivation, the Organization for Renovation, Development and Equipping School of the Ministry of Education took actions to devise and implement this plan in 1997 and 1998. To execute this plan Sistan & Baloochestan, Hormozgan, Kerman and Kohkilooye & Boyerahmad provinces have been given high priority and in 1997, 1018 classrooms and in 1998, 456 ones replaced huts and tents.

5. International Agencies

Ministry of Education has had suitable cooperation with international agencies including UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, and ISESCO in the 1990s. The ministry has also made use of the results of international educational conferences and seminars held.

Some of the projects implemented by the ministry through the cooperation of international agencies are as:

A) UNICEF

Ministry of Education- UNICEF joint projects in the 1990s

-Girls education project

-Child-to-child education

-Teaching-learning educational courses

-Preparation and development of educational materials for children with special needs.

-The plan for strengthening assessment methods of children entering primary education.

-The plan for promotion of hygiene at school life skills project.

-Assessment of Basic Capabilities (A.B.C)

B) UNESCO

-Holding a training workshop on science (1996)

-Holding a training workshop on special education (1997)

-Holding a scientific- functional workshop on improving the quality of education (1996)

C) ISESCO

-Holding a workshop on renewable energies (1998)

VI: Non-Formal Education & Literacy

1.General remarks

Since non-formal education is presented in a very broad range in Iran, it is not possible to mention all of these activities in this report. The most significant of these programs are carried out by the Literacy Movement Organization, the ministries and governmental or non-governmental organizations, and also through television programs.

2: Literacy Movement Organization (LMO)

According to the Constitution of the I.R of Iran, having access to education at different levels is the indisputable right of all people in the community including ethnic groups. The literacy Movement Organization as a state-supervised body has always followed this principle in education and has never made any distinction among people residing in rural or urban areas, immigrants, laborers and so on. Considering the different factors rooted in the time prior to the Islamic Revolution which led to deprivation in rural areas in comparison with urban areas, the Literacy Movement Organization has focused attention on these areas.

2.1: Educational levels of the LMO

Education system of the Literacy Movement Organization is comprised of four basic levels and a follow up literacy group (post literacy) which are as follows:

1. Preliminary level

This level is the first education level of literacy. Its scholastic value is equivalent to the second grade of primary level in formal education. The objective of this level is that learners get to know the Persian alphabets and their combinations to make words and sentences. They will develop such skill in literacy that they can read and write simple Persian texts .They will also acquire enough ability in numeracy to meet their daily needs .

The number of learners at this level in the period 1990 –1998 was 787,2125, 42.27% of whom succeeded in receiving the relevant certificate. Of the total number of learners at this level, 75.4% were female.

2.Complementary level

This level is the second education level of literacy. Its scholastic value is equivalent to the third grade of primary level of formal education. The objective of this level is to familiarize the learners with words, sentences and texts of Persian language to some extent in order for them to be able to express themselves and understand other people’s ideas by reading.

Also, they will acquire necessary skills in numeracy and reading the Holy Qu’ran. Passing this level seems to be significant in learning and consolidating the knowledge of neo –literates.

The number of learners at this level in the period 1990-1998 was 4,620,334 2,59-7254 of whom succeeded in getting promoted to a higher level.

3. Final level

This level has been presented since 1991 to increase necessary skills in reading, writing and numeracy and preparing the learners to attend the fifth grade of primary education. Its scholastic value is equivalent to the fourth grade of primary education. Since the start of this level up to 1998, 1,513,053 learners were educated, 61% of whom succeeded in receiving the relevant certificate. Of the total number of learners at this level, 87.6% were female.

4. The fifth grade of adult learners

This educational level has been introduced since 1989 to join those learners who are interested in continuing their education at higher levels in the formal education. Its scholastic value is equivalent to the fifth grade of formal education. In the period 1989-1998 , 6,82,806 learners enrolled , out of whom 4,03,401 succeeded in receiving the relevant certificate. 86.8% of all successful learners were female.

5. Education of follow-up groups

In order to avoid relapse to illiteracy and to develop effective and functional education, particularly promotion of reading culture among low-literates of the community, the project was planned and executed. This project has been officially implemented at national level since 1994. In the period 1995-1998, 6,61,146 learners enrolled at follow-up groups and 42 titles of books on health, religion, training , society , economy and science were simplified and distributed among them. An assessment carried out on these groups indicates that although the results of this project are not tangible in a short period, but through continuation of activities and promotion of the quality of these groups in the long run it will have considerable effect on the education of neo-literates.

2.2: Implemented plans of basic literacy

1. The public plan

This plan which constitutes major literacy activities, was launched through a preliminary level and a complementary one. In 1989 the fifth grade of adult learners and in 1991 the final level were added to it.

By the implementation of this plan, 138 million learners were under supervision of the LMO, 2.8 million of whom were male and 10.8 million female. 51.5% of the total number of learners succeeded in receiving the relevant certificate. The trend of the activities in the past ten years indicate a quantitative decline, but the promotion rate shows a growth in the quality of literacy programs of such classes held in mosques, schools, homes, etc.

Table 23: Number of adult learners enrolled by the LMO, by gender.

Year

Mosques

Schools

Houses

Other places

Nomads

Total

1990

183,174

1,634,524

905,004

37324

16,404

2,776,430

1991

131,185

790,969

909,346

30859

16,909

1,879,268

1992

103,276

612,638

872,670

29006

15,724

1,633,314

1993

87,879

531,541

869,606

29,371

16,721

1,535,118

1994

76,567

375,664

734,402

24,501

14,637

1,225,771

1995

68,746

322,207

693,896

31,606

10,580

1,127,035

1996

58,987

269,415

653,307

29,289

12,309

1,023,307

1997

58,356

256,079

642,793

33,054

9,535

999,817

1998

49,997

219,923

535,928

28,068

7,782

841,698

Total

818,167

5,012,960

6,816,952

273,078

120,601

13,041,758

Source: Literacy Movement Organization (LMO)

  1. Literacy plan for employees and laborers

According to the law ratified by the cabinet, all civil servants including employees and laborers and those working in the private sector who can not read and write are bound to attend literacy classes and at least receive the certificate of complementary level.

Statistics indicate that 4,57,267 learners were enrolled in the period 1989 –1998, 40% of whom succeeded in receiving the relevant certificate. Upon successful implementation of this project for the employees and laborers, the uprooting of illiteracy was celebrated in most of the administrative and production centers.

3. Literacy plan for the armed forces

According to the directive issued by the commander - in - chief of the armed forces, all military and law enforcement units are bound to educate illiterate conscripts up to the complementary level. Based on this project only those illiterate conscripts who have successfully finished the complementary level of the LMO can receive the military service completion certificate, and as a result the LMO was able to educate 3,76,778 people in military and law enforcement units.

Table 24: The number of literacy learners of the armed forces, law enforcement units, civil servants (employees and laborers ) in the period 1990 – 1998

 

Armed

Law Enforcement

Administration

Laborers

Total

Year

Forces

forces

Staff

 

 

1990

51,334

6,294

15,362

65510

138,500

1991

49,098

5,180

11,321

65285

130,884

1992

38,469

5,839

10,207

42953

97,468

1993

30,035

6,295

6,774

30,526

73,630

1994

20,270

4,501

5,067

18,216

48,054

1995

15,979

4,362

3,906

13,719

37,966

1996

15,760

3,128

2,986

14,350

36,224

1997

15,178

2,058

3,550

14,560

35,346

1998

10,364

2,134

2,725

16,383

31,606

Total

246,487

39,791

61,898

281,502

629,678

Source: Literacy Movement Organization (LMO)

4.Conscript teacher plan

In this plan the surplus draftees for military service upon receiving some educational and cultural training act as literacy teachers in rural and disadvantaged areas, the result of which has increasingly accelerated the pace of literacy programs.

5.The plan of literacy mobilization

This plan was carried out in the year 1990, in which the World Declaration on Education for All was approved in Jomtien, Thailand. As a result almost three million illiterate people enrolled in adult literacy courses.

6. The plan for nomadic people

The LMO has mobilized immigrant teachers to accompany these people to their winter and summer resorts. These teachers set up classes for school - age children and adults who have been deprived from the privilege of literacy while traveling with them. Through this project in the period 1990-1998, 1,31,876 people were made literate

7. Person to person plan

According to this plan any illiterate can be taught by a trained literate person and then take part in the examinations for the non-regular students and receive the relevant official certificate.

8. Miscellaneous learners

The people who due to some reason have not been able to attend literacy movement classes or those who can not take part in classes continuously, can receive literacy learning materials and study them personally then participate in the examinations for non-regular students and receive the relevant certificate after passing the examinations.

In this respect the LMO issued completion certificates for 2,59,632 learners at different educational levels in the period 1990 –1998

9. Literacy project for people on dole

According to the law ratified by the cabinet those illiterates who according to labor law go on dole, can remain on the dole while unemployed provided that they enroll in literacy classes.

10. Literacy plan with the help of prayer imams in mosques

According to this plan literacy staff of mosques are formed in each province and township. Illiterates with the help and encouragement of prayer imams attend literacy classes which are held in mosques.

11. Literacy plan for parents at school

According to the imam’s decree regarding active partnership of the Ministry of Education, the literacy of illiterate parents is shouldered by the school principals. The principals with help of teachers and the members of teacher-parent association and upper secondary students take steps to set up literacy classes. It is necessary that each principal allocates a suitable for education in different hours, daily.

2.3: Continuous Education

After finishing basic literacy levels, there is always a fear of a relapse into illiteracy. Hence, execution of the plans which lead to the development of effective and applied education and stops neo – literates from going back to illiteracy is of significant importance.

In Iran, with an increase in the number of literates and reduction of illiterates in 1994, the following activities entitled "continuous education" were carried out:

A. Plans for Continuous Education

  1. 1. Provision and development of simple and useful reading materials
  2. Development and provision of books according to the needs and interests of adult neo-literates is conducted through scientific research and with the partnership of relevant bodies.

100 simplified and scientific books on religion, health, society, economy and finance, training and family have been developed and have published in different editions.

2. Formation of literacy follow up groups

These groups are formed with the aim of increasing the neo-literates knowledge in different fields, strengthening their literacy skills and guiding them from attendance education to semi-attendance and finally non-attendance education.

The group members are those who have passed basic literacy (preliminary and complementary) successfully. The learns gradually discuss 38 titles of simplified and easy-to-understand books on religion, morals, family, health, society and economy.

This activity was launched in 1995 and more than 670,000 of neo-literates have participated in these groups and made use of necessary education.

Table 25: The number of follow- up groups and learners studying through the project of continuous education by sex and area

Year

Group

Learners

 

Erea

 

 

 

Male

Female

urban

Rural

1995

7692

11059

102010

1996

11907

14227

151614

83874

91967

1997

14923

18038

181338

89699

109677

1998

13724

15250

167615

81487

101378

Total

48246

47515

500567

245060

303022

Source: Literacy Movement Organization (LMO)

3. The plan of reading with the family

The plan of reading with the literate members of the family has been worked out and executed to promote reading culture and develop the habit of reading in the learners and their families. According to this plan, neo-literates at different levels will be provided with various subjects to read with the help of their families.

  1. Education through mass media

Considering the fact that today the partnership of the various media and their integration can improve education and advance its quality and quantity, the Literacy Movement Organization has implemented the following plans:

  1. Publication of neo-literates’ half page:
  2. Since January 1990, every Thursday half of one of the pages of an Iranian state-supervised newspaper entitled "Ettelaat" ( information) has been allocated to educational articles and conveying different messages to the neo-literates.

    Through these articles on a variety of topics, this organization has established communication with its addresses. Today the readers of these articles number to 40,000.

  3. Radio program entitled " Jooybar Danesh" (The Creek of Knowledge):

To promote the reading culture and make better use of the neo-literates’ half page newspaper article, one out of six topics presented on that page has been part of a daily program (except for Fridays) on television since 1994.

c. The program of the Movement magazine in Payam radio channel

Since 1997, the production of programs on scientific, religious, social subjects, daily, historical and educational activities suitable for low – literates has been started and the programs are broadcast on the radio every Friday.

5.Holding book fairs

Book fairs and books are usually available for limited group of people. New - literates and low-literates are often ignored. So suitable books are not available for them in the market. The LMO addresses this shortcoming by holding different book fairs in provinces and towns.

6. Equipping public libraries in cities and villages with books suitable for new - literates

Through the approval made by the board of trustees of the public libraries in the country, a shelf in every library is allocated to the books suitable for new literates. The goal is to expand educational activities and to make a link between literacy and libraries as well as to encourage self-study.

Through the cooperation of the secretariat of the board of trustees for public libraries, about 3,000,000 books on different topics have been granted to the libraries in the cities and villages.

The number of the members of these libraries is about 12,000.

7. Book reading competitions

Several book reading competitions have been held by the LMO in cooperation with other organizations to encourage the low – literates.

One of these competitions was becoming acquainted with the life of the Holy Prophet and Imams, in which about 330,000 people participated.

Since 1996, about 6,000,000 books have been studied in these competitions.

8.Presenting corresponding services:

To provide educational services as well as to as to increase the knowledge of the people who do not have enough time to participate in classes and educational programs, and to create self-reliance in the learners and develop the general culture.

I.R.I Post Company provides the head of the groups (as representatives of the Literacy movement) with educational packages to distribute among the learners and return them to the LMO by post after being studied.

The program covers 20,000 low – literates. They study one book per month and then return it. The ultimate goal of this program is to make a link between low – literates and the information centers such as libraries.

9. Intersectional partnerships

The LMO believes that literacy is a skill with an extensive and diverse capabilities in economic, social, cultural areas which requires the contribution or participation of other ministries, government sectors or international organizations. Some of the joint projects are as follows:

public libraries in cities and villages:

Since the learners and the new- literates need to study books other than their textbooks, in addition to publishing 15 books entitled "Reading with family" series, 40 books for follow up group activities have been printed and distributed. In addition, the LMO with the cooperation of the board of trustees of the public libraries and the Ministry of Construction Jihad have carried out a shared cultural activity and the result is allocating a special section to new literates in city and village public libraries throughout the country.

B. Ministry of Agriculture

The LMO with the cooperation of the Office of Research, Education and Propagation of the Ministry of Agriculture has published 14 simple books on different topics to enhance the skill and knowledge of farmers. These books have been distributed in big book reading competitions in different provinces.

C. Ministry of Construction Jihad

The LMO through cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture has published and distributed several books on environment, forestry and other topics.

D. Law enforcement Forces

The LMO with the cooperation of the law enforcement Forces has published some simple books on theft, driving regulations, etc.

E. Drug Campaign Headquarters

The LMO with the cooperation of this department has published some simple educational printed matters to make the society aware of drug abuse and its dangers.

F.UNICEF

The LMO with UNICEF cooperation has published several books to provide the new literates, especially the young mothers, with information on children’s hygiene and nourishment.

G. UNFPA

The LMO with the cooperation of this organization and in the form of a population education project, has published several books on different topics. Some of these books have been translated into other languages.

H. ACCU

The LMO with the cooperation of this center has published some books on different areas of nutrition and health.

3. Literacy status in the country

  1. The population aged 6 that is literate

According to the estimation made in the beginning of the first was plan, percentage of the literate population aged 6 expected to be 79.7% in 1993 and 86.1% in 1998. The performances show that the percentages were 79.51% in 1996 and 81% in 1998 revealing that the literacy programs were a little behind the anticipated rate.

Male literacy rate was 84.6% and that of female was 74.21% in 1998. Literacy gender disparity was 19% in 1986 which decreased to 13.6% in 1991 and 10.4 in 1996 indicating a descending trend in literacy gender disparity.

Table 26: Population of six-years and over in urban / rural areas by literacy rate and gender (1986-1996)

 

 

Population six years of

 

 

 

 

Year

 

Age and over

 

Rate of literacy

 

 

 

("000)

 

 

(%)

 

 

 

 

Both sexes

Male

Female

Both sexes

Male

Female

Total country

 

 

 

 

 

 

1986

 

38709

19822

18887

61.78

71.02

52.08

1991

 

43856

23675

22181

74.07

80.64

67.06

1996

 

52295

26534

25761

79.51

84.67

74.21

Urban areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

1986

 

21210

10907

10304

73.11

80.36

65.43

1991

 

26521

13727

12795

81.92

86.72

76.77

1996

 

32500

16593

16907

85.71

89.56

81.7

Rural areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

1989

 

17307

8818

8488

48.37

59.95

36.33

1991

 

19047

9799

9248

63.68

72.6

54.22

1996

 

19625

9857

9768

69.61

76.74

62.41

Source: Population indicators of Iran (1956-96), Statistical Center of Iran

Indicator 16: Literacy rate of 15-24 year olds

1.A survey on the literacy indicators in the 1990s indicates that the literacy rate of 15-24 year olds increased from 84.6% in

1990 to 95.4% in 1998 which shows an increase of 10.8% . The growth rate for women increased from 78.1% in 1990 to 93.4% in 1998. The literacy rate for men increased from 90.8% in 1990 to 97.3% in 1998 showing an increase of 6.6%.

In addition, the proportion of literate females to males aged 15-24 increased from 0.86 in 1990 to 0.95 in 1998.

Table 27: Percentage of literate population aged 15-24 by gender (90-98)

Year

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

(MF)

84.6

86.6

88.0

98.0

90.6

91.7

92.9

94.6

95.4

(M)

90.8

62.2

92.8

93.5

94.1

94.8

95.4

97.3

97.4

(F)

78.1

80.9

93.0

85.0

86.9

88.7

90.3

91.9

93.4

Source: Statistical Center of Iran

Figure No. 20: Percentage of literate population aged 15-24 by gender (90-98)

Source: Statistical Center of Iran

2.According to the census carried out in 1986 and 1996, literacy rate of the population aged 15-24 increased from 86.4% in 1986 to 96.5% in 1996. The rate, increased from 91.5% to 97.3% for males and from 81.1% to 95.6% for females. At the same time literacy rate in rural areas increased from 61.6% in 1986 to 87.3% in 1996. The rate increased from 75.7% to 92.4% for males and from 45.9% to 82.4% for females.

Table 28: Literacy rate of 15-24 year olds both in urban and rural areas in 1986, 1991 and 1986 by gender.

 

 

Population 15-24 years olds

 

 

 

Year

 

 

 

 

Rate of literacy

 

 

 

("000000)

 

 

(%)

 

 

 

 

Both sexes

Male

Female

Both sexes

Male

Female

Total country

 

 

 

 

 

 

1986

 

9.3

4.7

4.6

75.3

84.6

65.7

1991

 

10.8

5.5

5.2

86.6

92.1

81.7

1996

 

12.3

6.1

6.1

92.9

95.4

90.2

urban areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

1986

 

5.2

2.6

2.5

82.4

91.5

91.1

1991

 

6

3

2.9

92.8

95.4

90.2

1996

 

7.4

3.7

3.7

96.5

97.2

95.6

Rural areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

1989

 

4.1

2

2

61.1

75.7

45.8

1991

 

4.7

2.4

2.2

79.1

88.4

69.3

1996

 

4.8

2.4

2.4

87.2

92.4

82.4

Source: Population indicators of Iran (1956-96), Statistical Center of Iran

5. Despite the growing trend in adult literacy rate during 1990s and a rather desirable situation regarding the quantity, the situation seems to be critical in some provinces like Sistan & Baluchestan; with the statistics indicating that little attention is paid to literacy in this province, even in the case of below 24 year-olds, and the gap between this province and the other ones in the country is very wide.

Indicator17: The population aged 15+ that is literate

1. A survey on the literate population of the country aged 15+ indicates an increase from 62.9% in 1990 to 75.5% in 1998 which registers a total growth rate of 12.6%.

The growth rate increased from 71.9% to 81.6% for men, and from 53.1% to 69.2% for women.

In addition, the proportion of literate female to male, aged 15+ increased from 0.73 in 1990 to 0.84 in 1998.

Table 29: Percentage of literate population aged 15+ by gender (1990-1998)

Year

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

(MF)

62.9

65.2

66.9

68.5

70.1

71.5

72.9

74.0

75.5

(M)

71.9

73.9

75.2

76.4

77.6

78.7

79.7

80.1

81.6

(F)

53.1

55.8

58.2

60.3

62.3

64.2

65.9

67.7

69.2

Source: Statistical Center of Iran

Figure No. 21: Percentage of literate population aged 15+ by gender (1990-1998)

Source: Statistical Center of Iran

2.The expanded literacy programs in the I.R. of Iran during the last two decades resulted in a reduction of geographical discrimination of the literate population indicating that the percentage of the urban population aged 15+ that is literate increased from 65.5% in 1986 to 81% in 1996. The rate increased from 75% to 86.4% for males and from 56.8% to 76.5% for females. At the same time the percentage of rural population aged 15+ that is literate rose from 30.5% in 1986 to 59.5% in 1996. The rate increased from 47.4% to 67.8% for males and from 22.4% to 49.7% for females. In other words, literacy rate in rural areas had a more accelerating trend and the literacy disparity rate between urban and rural areas reduced to half.

Figure No 30: Comparison of literacy rates of the population aged 15 years and over by gender in 1986, 1991 and 1996

 

 

Population 15 years of

 

 

 

 

Year

 

Age and over

 

Rate of literacy

 

 

 

("000000)

 

 

(%)

 

 

 

 

Both sexes

Male

Female

Both sexes

Male

Female

Total country

 

 

 

 

 

 

1986

 

26.9

13.7

13.1

52.5

63.2

41.2

1991

 

31.1

16

15

65.2

73.9

55.8

1996

 

36.3

18.4

17.9

72.9

79.7

65.9

Urban areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

1986

 

15.3

7.8

7.4

65.5

75

56.8

1991

 

18.3

9.5

8.8

75.7

82.4

68.4

1996

 

22.9

11.7

11.2

81

86.4

76.5

Rural areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

1989

 

11.6

5.9

5.7

35

47.4

22.4

1991

 

12.5

6.4

6

50.3

61.8

38.2

1996

 

13.3

6.6

6.6

59.6

67.8

49.7

Source: Population indicators of Iran (1956-96), Statistical Center of Iran

4. Parent Education

A. Parent education programs are planned by the Parent-Teacher Association’s headquarters and are implemented with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education, PTA ( Parent – Teacher Association ) and school principals all over the country.

The objectives of parent education are as follows:

  1. Development and excellence of families and raising their awareness.
  2. Creating cultural integrity in society
  3. Coordination of pedagogical methods at school and home
  4. Making use of the families’ capabilities
  5. Cooperation and partnership in family education programs.

Financing in family education

In order to provide educational materials needed by the courses since 1990 more than 14 books have been developed to be taught in family education classes. Each edition of the books have been reprinted six times and more than 420,000 copies have been distributed among parents. During the same period, 52 teacher training courses were held and more than 3,500 eligible people successfully completed the courses and were awarded the required certificate to teach in family education classes.

Also, 100 books on various topics needed by the families were published as educational aids.

Management and decision making

In 1993 the "Comprehensive Council for Family Education and Consultation" was established to plan family education courses. The council is composed of some professors and educational experts who are responsible for guiding these programs. Parent-Teacher Association’s headquarters implements the plans approved by the council.

Family education

This kind of education is mainly presented to improve the quality of links among family members as well as those between parents and children. The contents or topics of family education courses are systematically revised in order to meet the new situations. Presently five educational courses are being implemented to meet the families’ specific educational needs, the titles of which are as follows:

a- " Youth and family" education course which is specifically planned for young people willing to get married.

b- "Family and the children studying at pre-primary level"

c- Family and the children studying at primary level"

  1. d- Family and the children studying in lower secondary level"
  2. e- Family and the children studying in upper secondary level"

Since 1990, more than 3,897,400 parents have participated in these courses; 75 of whom were mothers. These courses have mainly been held in urban areas and due to the shortage of trainers and transportation problems, the courses are seldom held in rural areas.

Owing to the diversity of educational needs and families having different levels of knowledge, the educational contents are to be prepared in accordance with their specific needs and their level of knowledge.

Although this educational diversity was observed through selection of more than 40 subjects for the five educational courses, the subjects are merely on pedagogical areas and do not meet the parents other educational needs.

E. Achievements

25% of the families have so far participated in family education courses. The courses were planned to raise families’ awareness and to make coordination in the pedagogical methods. Owing to the diversity of parent education courses and their various needs, lots of efforts are to be taken to meet all their needs. The research conducted indicates that these courses meet the educational needs of parents and parents show positive attitude towards them. Moreover, the courses have had a positive effect on pedagogical knowledge of parents.

It is believed that the courses make coordination between the pedagogical methods applied at school and home, thus promoting the quality of Education for All.

5. Major difficulties and problems of Literacy/Movement Organization

The major problems which the movement faces can be classified as follows:

5.1: Policy making at national and organizational level

Complete elimination of illiteracy in the country requires a national movement. Starting this movement, requires the cooperation of all related organizations and it is not a task to be undertaken by only one organization. So all responsible authorities should help this movement in every possible way.

-Stopping the increase in number of illiterates requires prevention of illiteracy growth. If all eligible children could not be covered by literacy programs, there will be no hope for elimination of illiteracy in future.

- In the existing situation in the country, it is somehow difficult to encourage illiterates to attend learning classes. It needs special policies and programs. There should be adequate advertising programs. Unfortunately, lack of enough advertising expenditures helps to aggravate this problem.

5.2: Educational problems (content of textbooks and teaching methods)

  1. Diversity of learners’ needs especially adult learners, calls for new methods and samples of teaching.
  2. The high rate of educational expenditures on one hand and financial limitations on the other, has made it difficult to expand and consolidate learning.
  3. Making diversity in contents of text books requires skilled manpower. Unfortunately, despite spite of the great number of illiterates in the country, the number of skilled manpower in this field is very limited.
  4. Adequate schools is one of the most important elements in the learning process. Unfortunately, most of our classes are held out of schools such as mosques, rented houses and sometimes in tents and there are no chairs and benches for learners to use.

5.3:Manpower limitations

- Lack of expert and skilled manpower for teaching these courses caused the rate of success to be lower than standard level. On the other hand, diversity of learners in rural areas has made it difficult to provide enough manpower for all of them. In order to solve these problems, the quality and quantity of manpower should be increased.

5.4:Financial limitations

Since the movement’s activities cover a very broad area, it is difficult to provide enough budget for its needs. On the other hand, the more we progress in teaching illiterates, the more money we need, because there are expenditures for maintaining and continuing these learners in higher levels. So it is necessary to make a great increase in the organizations’ budget.

5.5: The structure of the organization

Inter-organizational relations which are needed for success of the movement requires that the most high – ranking officials of the country be involved in these activities. Confining it to just one organization may limit its area of activities. So it seems necessary to make changes in this regard.

There are some other factors affecting the literacy movement namely:

Poverty, cultural barriers, diversity of tribes and dialects, ineffectiveness of basic knowledge on income of the families, deprived regions, shortage of manpower in villages, lack of other organizations’ cooperation, low salaries of teachers, lack of suitable textbooks and other learning sources, lengthening the period of teaching and so on.

5.6: Challenges facing the Literacy Movement Organization in the future

According to the statistical indicators of literacy, the descending trend in the number of illiterates in the society and the situation of literacy learners and also considering its regular decreasing trend in the intake rate from 1991 until 1998, leads us to make the following major predictions:

  1. Adult literacy:
  1. Considering the present situation, as a result of the descending trend in the intake rate of literacy learners, in the not too distant future it will not be possible to hold adult literacy classes even with a minimum of 2 or 3 learners in each classroom.
  2. The highest literacy indicator has reached 90% in Iran, which will be the largest enrollment ratio to be achieved in the decade 1991-2001. The only change is the fact that this ratio is 95% for adults under 40 and 85% for adults over 40 years of age.
  3. Due to the large extent of dispersion in the number of literates with poor literacy skills, despite termination of combating illiteracy through holding full attendance literacy classes and semi-formal ones, there are still 1.5 million illiterate adults under 40 years of age.

Since running full attendance classes contradicts present educational regulations and is not economically viable, in order to solve this problem and make 1.5 million adults under 40 years old literate, the Literacy Movement Organization can adopt flexible policies to continue campaign against illiteracy in deprived areas through semi-attendance, distance and person to person education.

  1. Continuing education
  1. The Literacy Movement Organization sets forth the termination of campaign against literacy in the coming years, while the number of poorly-literate and neo-literate adults will reach about 25 million. Lack of a proper plan to strengthen their knowledge and the problem of relapse into illiteracy will be the most serious threat posed against the effort made by the movement in many years.
  2. Considering the commencement of spreading the continuing education programs for adults through development of various reading materials, the results indicate that quality education and the intake rate of the poorly-literate adults have not been considerable. Therefore, it is necessary to make appropriate changes in current executive policies and trends, because the number of learners in the past few years has not been quite proportionate to the rate of their participation in continuing education and on the whole, one cannot be hopeful about the success of the current trend.
  3. In view of the experience gained in recent years, the promotion of continuing education for adults needs participation of other organizations, bodies and ministries. This may help to optimize the betterment of continual education.


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