Tazirat Organization Wants to Monitor School Fees

Tazirat Organization Wants to Monitor School Fees Tazirat Organization Wants to Monitor School Fees

The Tazirat Organization and the Education Ministry appear to be in a face-off over tuition fees, following a violation of the Education Ministry’s directive by 63 schools in arbitrarily increasing tuition fees.

Mohammad Mohammadi, director general of Tehran’s General Office for Tazirat, said “School fees should be monitored by the general office and this would be completely legal.”

Tazirat (meaning state punishment) is part of the judicial law specifying sentences for crimes according to Islamic law. The organization is affiliated to the Judiciary and ensures that laws are implemented and violators face suitable punishment. Its responsibilities include overseeing observation of social, cultural, medical and economic rights as well as pursuing contraband crimes and currency smuggling, real estate violations, and economic violations such as overcharging, fraud and hoarding, among other infringements.  

Minister of Education Ali-Asghar Fani, emphasized that the responsibility of monitoring private schools’ tuition fees rests with the Education Ministry and not the Tazirat. “We can fix the problems by holding meetings with the organization,” he added.

But Mohammadi believes the Education Ministry “can monitor the fees along with us.”

The number of non-government schools and ‘universities for profit’ has increased significantly in recent years, and are competing with each other to attract more students, the Persian language newspaper Iran reported.

Official statistics say there are 12.2 million students in the country and 12% study in non-government schools. The number of private schools is higher in Tehran, in particular in districts 1 to 5, where there are 1,500 private schools; therefore competition among schools is greater in these areas.

 False Promises

Some school administrators make promises to attract more students and encourage parents to enroll their children, but ultimately hike up fees; so tuition fees in many schools are higher than the ceiling set by the Education Ministry.

Although every year, education officials announce that public schools “don’t have any right to charge fees” and private schools must charge tuition fees as laid down by the ministry, yet many public schools ask parents to pay up on various pretexts.

Also, private schools increase tuition fees arbitrarily. This year (started March 21), the steep rise in tuition fees in some private schools resulted in the dismissal of 12 school principals by the director general of the Tehran Education Department, Esfandiar Chaharband.

Chaharband also said 22 school principals were instructed to return the additional fee they collected and 63 schools had been sent written warnings.