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EghtesadOnline: A new report released by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare has ascertained indices related to Iran’s education system and compared it to global standards.

The average literacy rate of Iranians over 15 years stood at 87.6% in the fiscal 2019-20, which is above the international average (86.48% in 2019), but lower than that of upper middle-income countries (96% in 2016), according to the report. 

Tehran Province had the highest literacy rate with 93.8% and Sistan-Baluchestan Province had the lowest with 73.9%.

The report also shows 0.99% of children between 12 and 17 years did not have elementary education in the year under review. The share in Sistan-Baluchestan, Yazd, Zanjan, Qazvin and Khorasan Razavi provinces were higher than 1.5%.

The average rate of out-of-school children between 6 and 11 years was at 1.3%, which is noticeably lower than the international average of 8.02% and countries with above-average income with 4% in 2019. 

Sistan-Baluchestan Province had the highest out-of-school children rate with 5.27%.

The average rate of those between 18 and 24 years with secondary education stood at 29.9%, which is considerably higher than the European Union average of 10.3% in 2019. Again, Sistan-Baluchestan, in addition to Hormozgan, Kurdestan and Golestan provinces, had the worst condition while Mazandaran, Semnan and Tehran had the best condition.

Educational poverty, like any other kind of poverty, is perceived as a level of education that is below the acceptable threshold. It is linked to many important factors such as the family’s social and economic situation, family background, learning environment at home and factors related to school.

Expounding on factors directly related to families, the report said poverty rate for Iranian children stood at 25% in the fiscal 2020-21, meaning about a quarter of children lived in poor families that year. More than half of children in Sistan-Baluchestan Province were living in poor families. North Khorasan, Golestan, West Azarbaijan and Hormozgan provinces with rates higher than 30% came next while Yazd and Tehran provinces with 10% were in best condition.

In the fiscal 2019-20, 38% of children under 18 years were living in poor families. 

A total of 47.7% of students under 18 years in the fiscal 2019-20 were living with parents with no middle school education. Once again, Sistan-Baluchestan Province had the worst condition, such that about 70% of students were living with families with no secondary education. Kurdestan, West Azarbaijan and Ardabil came next. Alborz Province had the best condition among other provinces with a rate of 28%.

The preschool coverage rate, which indicates the percentage of children between 4 and 5 years registered in preschool, stood at 67.68% in the fiscal 2019-20, which was higher than the international average of 61.52% in 2019. 

East Azarbaijan, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, Semnan, Qazvin, Ilam, Kerman and Khuzestan provinces had the best conditions with rates of over 90% while Qom, Alborz, Khorasan Razavi and Tehran provinces had the worst conditions with rates below 40%.

As for factors directly linked to schools, only 12.7% of schools were equipped with computers for student use. Fars, Mazandaran, Isfahan, Zanjan and Sistan-Baluchestan had the worst conditions while Khorasan Razavi, Tehran and Markazi had the best conditions.

Class density, which indicates the average number of students present in a single classroom, stood at 25.61 and 26.21 for elementary and secondary schools respectively in the fiscal 2019-20, higher than the international average of 20 for elementary classes and 22 for secondary schools. Tehran Province had the worst condition and Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad had the best condition among other provinces.

The student-to-teacher ratio stood at 28.23 in the fiscal 2019-20. Tehran and Alborz had the worst condition and Ilam, Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad and Kurdestan had the best conditions. 

What’s more, in the fiscal 2019-20, 7.71% of Iran’s classrooms were multi-grade, i.e., students from two or more grades studied in a single classroom. Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad, Kermanshah, Lorestan and Kurdestan had the worst condition while Tehran and Alborz had the best condition compared with other provinces.

The rate of professional educational staff, i.e., those who were trained and qualified to teach stood at 66.21%: 68.46% in middle schools and 73.79% in high schools. 

The report also found out that only 26% of 8th-grade students in mathematics classes were being taught by teachers with an educational degree higher than a bachelor’s degree in 2019. The average international rate stood at 35%.

Latest data released by the Statistical Center of Iran show the average goods and services Consumer Price Index of “education” in the 12-month period ending Aug. 22, which marks the end of the fifth Iranian month of fiscal 2021-22, increased by 22% compared with last year’s corresponding period. 

With a coefficient of 1.86%, the CPI of the group stood at 221.1 in the month to Aug. 22, indicating a 1% rise compared with the month before. The group’s CPI index registered a year-on-year increase of 20.3%. 

The annualized inflation rate in Iran has reached a record high.

Latest average overall goods and services Consumer Price Index in the 12-month period ending Aug. 22, which marks the end of the fifth Iranian month of fiscal 2021-22, increased by 45.2% compared with the corresponding period of the year before.

The rate is an all-time high since fiscal 2017-18 when earliest statistics on CPI in Iran were made available on SCI’s database.