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Dropouts to Go Back to School
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Dropouts to Go Back to School

All Iranians must complete high school, “so we don’t have any illiterates or school dropouts, especially among children in the country. This is our goal,” said Dr. Ali Rabeie, minister of cooperatives, labor and social welfare.
He said the meeting of the Supreme Council of Welfare discussed the “package regarding the return of school dropouts back into the education fold.” It was decided that the welfare ministry in collaboration with the education ministry should take the necessary measures to plan the funding and implementation of the package, he said.
The package has already been drafted and presented to the Social Commission and has been placed on the government agenda. “Also we have taken into consideration educational and economic experts’ opinion for executing the package,” Rabeie said, reports ISNA.

 Obstacles
This year 170,000 children dropped out of primary school. Studies conducted indicate that the main obstacles for continuing education are: family objections, cultural barriers and poverty. “Therefore we aim to return these children to school by creating awareness through family training programs and considering financial incentives for them,” he said.
The minster regretted that many of the children are forced to work by their families. At present in three provinces of Alborz, Lorestan and Fars, “we have established child social protection councils with the hope of reducing the number of working children. Currently, working children constitute 10% of the illiterate population in Tehran city alone,” he pointed out.  
In a survey conducted by the Social Commission to combat illiteracy, the major causes were investigated and “considering the survey results, we are planning to take coercive, legal, financial and structural measures to build a strong foundation for children’s education,” he said.

 Food Support
In July 2014, the first package of food support was distributed among the most vulnerable households.
The food aid will be distributed among poor families at least 4 times a year. The plan aims to fight extreme poverty, which is an obstacle for other important human rights such as basic education.
So far 7.5 million people have been brought under the purview of such support and the process will continue till all the targeted groups are covered, Rabeie said.
Meat, poultry, rice, vegetable oil, pasta, tomato paste and dates are provided under the nutrition support cum educational aid package, and families can purchase the food items up to a “fixed financial amount.”

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