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Boarding Schools to Help Provide Equal Education
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Boarding Schools to Help Provide Equal Education

Boarding schools in nearby cities and adjacent towns for students living in remote areas will be established to facilitate equal access to education for all, said Ali Naghi Yazdanpanah, director general of the Education Ministry’s Office for Less Developed Regions.
Such facilities will remove obstacles to acquiring high quality education for children in underprivileged regions and help them be part of mainstream education, ISNA quoted him as saying.
“We have also planned transport for students to the boarding schools,” he added.
In line with the plan to equip nomadic schools, special attention has been paid to schools in West Azarbaijan Province where several tribes and nomads reside, including the Shahsavan and Arasbaran tribes.
Further, boarding schools will encourage and promote education among rural students and help reduce dropouts. As there is no possibility of sanctioning schools in sparsely populated and remote areas, establishing boarding schools in cities and towns nearest to them will provide educational opportunities for many children.
Noting that the existing boarding schools lack many amenities, however, “the unfavorable condition of boarding schools is better than exclusion of students from the educational system,” he said.
The Rouhani administration is paying special attention to boarding schools and $2.1 million was recently allocated to fixing some of the infrastructural flaws. New heating and cooling systems and other facilities were installed in many of the schools.
A special working group chaired by Minister of Education Ali Asghar Fani and deputy First Vice-President for Rural and Deprived Areas Development, Abolfazl Razavi, has been formed to address educational problems in remote areas.

 Nutrition
In a recent meeting of the working group, several issues including nutrition of students were discussed.
The Social Welfare Organization (SWO) is committed to provide nutrition to school students, Yazdanpanah said, adding that parents shouldn’t pay money to schools for students’ meals.  
This Iranian year (started March 21), the ‘Tehran Charity School,’ an NGO, will also raise donations under the ‘Charity Boarding School’ campaign, to help construct boarding schools to benefit rural students.  
“NGOs’ involvement in development of boarding schools is necessary as government alone can’t undertake such objectives,” Yazdanpanah said.
At present, there are 3,336 boarding schools in the country with 409,000 students on the roster. Most of them are first and second grade high school students. 

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