Special Fund to Promote Education in Deprived Areas

Special Fund to Promote  Education in Deprived AreasSpecial Fund to Promote  Education in Deprived Areas

A development fund “to promote justice in education” will be jointly established by the Ministry of Education and the School Makers Community Charity (SMCC) to help provide people in deprived regions with equal educational opportunities and facilities.

To that end, a memorandum of understanding with 23 articles was signed by Education Minister Ali Asghar Fani and Mohammad Reza Hafezi, head of the SMCC.

Based on the MoU, the “Educational Justice Development Fund” will be set up to attract and organize humanitarian aid and lay the groundwork for mass community participation in charitable activities, ILNA reported.

The fund will be financed by grants from patrons and interest drawn on long-term deposits by philanthropists at designated banks.

According to the MoU, patrons will be guided through the procedures to open five-year deposit accounts and the interest accrued will be used for building or refurbishing schools in underprivileged areas.

The MoU stipulates that a list of boarding schools in remote areas, nomadic tribes and remote villages, prioritized in that order, plus an overall estimation of all potential costs including maintenance, improvement, educational programs, and annual curriculums be prepared before implementing the project.

The regulations will be devised and issued to offices in provinces, towns and regions to cooperate on the project. A secretariat for the fund will also be established at the SMCC as well as affiliated offices.

Based on Article 4 of the MoU, a member of the SMCC and one representative from the Education Ministry will comprise the board of directors to oversee the performance of the fund.

The SMCC is a non-government organization and one of the biggest NGOs in the country. It specializes in building new schools or renovating old ones as well as equipping educational facilities in deprived areas.

It acts as the arm of the Organization for Development, Renovation and Equipping Schools of Iran, and currently has over 80,000 active members.

The organization accounts for construction of 34% of all schools in the country and about half of those built every year.