Rouhani Says Education Costs High

Rouhani Says Education Costs High  Rouhani Says Education Costs High

President Hassan Rouhani has called for the gradual transfer of the education system from the public to the private sector, saying the latter presently handles barely ten percent of educational activities.

The president made the remark Monday in a public address delivered at a ceremony marking the national Teacher's Day (May 2), IRNA reported. Pointing to the high cost of education on the government's shoulders, Rouhani said his  government had almost doubled the budget for the education ministry during the last three years, increasing the amount from 120 trillion rials ($3.6 billion) in 2011 to about 240 trillion rials ($7.2 billion) for the current Iranian year (started March 21).

Despite the growth in public funding for education, statistics show that during the said period (2011-2015) the number of students and teachers have almost remained stagnant at about 11 million and 1 million respectively, said Rouhani. This could be interpreted as improved welfare in the educational system.

  Mixed Blessing

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said today's students are different from those of the past in that "they now have access to abundant resources and information on cyberspace."

Describing cyberspace as a "mixed blessing" which has its own pluses and minuses, he said, "The education system is tasked with teaching the youth how to make proper use of the internet."  

Pointing to the fact that in the modern world  education is not limited to schools, he said the media too plays a role in educating the students, adding that the society can itself act as an "academic center for students and train them how to communicate with others."

Nevertheless, he noted that instead of restricting the youth, teachers, parents and guardians should learn how to "protect" them from possible harm when dealing with challenges both in real and virtual spaces.       

  Right to Protest for All

The president pointed to the economic problems teachers are grappling with and said his government is aware of the pitfalls and doing its best to alleviate their plight.

Referring to the rally of a large group of workers in Tehran on the occasion of the international Labor Day (May 1), which he said was "the first of its kind", Rouhani stressed that his administration upholds and recognizes the right to peaceful protest for all labor groups and their unions. However, he also noted that the government sees itself as "a servant" of the nation and makes every possible effort to help improve the quality of life of the masses.