Need to Focus on Education in 6th Plan

Need to Focus on Education in 6th Plan

The Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (starts 2016) should focus on developing equity in students’ education “by emphasizing on four criteria - hardware, software, structure, and statistics,” said Meysam Hashemkhani, director of the permanent office of the ‘Development and Education Equity Conference.’
Due to high inflation, since 2010 on average, 12% of families with students in the age group 6-18 are allocating a meager amount to their children’s education in Tehran Province. Hashemkhani who is also an economist, told ILNA that in less privileged provinces such as Bushehr, Sistan and Balouchestan, and Kurdistan, 65% of families are facing financial constraints.
A plan which categorizes schools into four divisions based on equipment and facilities “will provide us with annual data on the educational environment, so as to help redistribute students to better equipped schools.”

 Improving Skills
Regarding software, the plan should aim at improving teachers’ skills, as well as providing supplementary services such as free food, physical training and extra-curricular activities, besides educational psychologists.
The ministry of education should entrust schools with more authority in management. This in particular, will benefit schools in remote areas where locals posses greater awareness of their needs and priorities. “Further, students of different regions and dialects have diverse needs, and by relinquishing 20% of educational content to local school authorities, their needs will be met more adequately,” Hashemkhani stressed.

The only official statistics related to students’ education addresses the total illiteracy index, while on the global scale, 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) release three sets of data on educational status of their students every three years.
They include the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which allows educational performances to be examined on a common yardstick across countries; Education at a Glance, which examines nearly 70 quantitative and qualitative variables contributing to the various aspects of education in OECD member states; and Teaching and Learning International Study (TALIS), an international survey program which focuses on the learning environment and the working conditions of teachers in schools. “Having such data in a research-oriented manner is crucial to chalk out future education policies in Iran,” Hashemkhani maintained.


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