TEHRAN – Movement Literacy Organization puts the education of foreign nationals on the agenda, the head of the Organization said.
Foreign nationals enjoy free education just like Iranian citizens, IRNA quoted Alireza Abdi as saying on Wednesday.
“We need the help and support of charitable institutions for the majority of citizens who have not received education,” he further noted.
If charitable institutions in the states successfully support and educate nationals, it will become a model for other provinces where nationals live and can receive educational services, he said.
Through the communication and cooperation of non-governmental education and training partners, we can achieve the desired effect on the education of illiterate people and the growth and development of refugee literature.
A significant increase in refugee literacy
The literacy rate among refugees has increased significantly in recent decades. Thus, the literacy rate of Afghan immigrants in Iran is higher than the number of literates in Afghanistan, according to a report published in June by the research center of the Iranian parliament (Majlis).
According to the Population and Housing Census of National Statistics in 2016, the number of refugees officially residing in Iran was 1,654, of which Afghan, Iraqi and Pakistani immigrants constitute the majority of international immigrants. In fact, 95 percent of immigrants in Iran are “Afghan”, 2 percent are “Iraqi” and about 1 percent are “Pakistani”.
The research center of the Iranian parliament, in a report published in June, addressed the issue of the education of immigrant children.
Only about 10 percent of the first generation of refugees who entered Iran in the early 1980s were literate before they arrived, which has now risen to 64 percent. In the early 2010s, the literacy rate among refugees was about 52 percent, but by the end of the 2010s it had risen to 64 percent.
The literacy rate is much higher for immigrants in the second and third generation. Some 76 percent of Afghan youth aged 15 to 29 in Iran are literate.
The literacy rate of Afghan immigrants living in Iran is higher than the number of literates in Afghanistan itself. Thus, the literacy rate of second-generation Afghan immigrants in Iran is much closer to the literacy rate of Iranians.
In the last academic year (September 2020-September 2021), of the total number of non-Iranian students, 1610 are preschoolers, 335,963 students are in the first and second elementary school, 104,458 were in the first year of junior high school; and 55,590 in the second year of junior high school. One-third of the students enrolled are undocumented and illegal residents.
Close to the eradication of literature
Before the Islamic Revolution, the country’s literacy rate was 48 percent, as some 14.2 million people (52.5%) were illiterate.
One year after the Islamic Revolution and because of the greatness and need of literature, by order of Imam Khomeini (RA), in December 1979, the Organization of Literary Movement was established to eliminate illiteracy in the country.
After the organization was established in 1986, nearly 11 million people were added to the country’s literate population, and the country’s literacy rate increased from 47.5 percent to nearly 61.8 percent.
Likewise, 400,000 illiterate people are covered by the Literacy Movement every year, 50 percent of whom are officially illiterate.
Currently, the number of illiterates is less than one million. Now only five out of every 100 Iranians are illiterate, said Shapour Mohammadzadeh, head of the Literacy Movement Organization.
According to the latest census, the literacy rate is 96.2 percent, which is increasing by 0.5 percent every year. The distribution of illiteracy in the provinces is very high, in some provinces one illiterate can be found every 20 square kilometers.
Mohammadzadeh expressed hope to soon celebrate the eradication of illiteracy in the provinces, where the literacy rate is 98 percent. Now 50 percent of the Literacy Movement Organization’s activities are focused on consolidating and transferring literacy so that there is no return to illiteracy.