Afghan Students in Iran

Afghan Students in IranAfghan Students in Iran

Over 360,000 Afghan students are studying in schools across Iran, said Khalilollah Babaloo, head of the Iranian Education Ministry’s Center for International Affairs and Overseas Schools.

“As of now, 360,693 Afghan children are officially registered in Iranian schools across the 31 provinces and are charged a tuition fee of 1.2-3.6 million rials ($35-$104) according to the educational level,” he said, IRNA reported.

Tehran, Khorasan Razavi, Isfahan, Qom, Fars, Alborz, and Kerman provinces have the highest number of Afghan students. During a visit to Tehran last week, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner George Okoth-Obbo said that there are 960,000 Afghan refugees in Iran, but the number of unregistered Afghans in the country far exceeds that number: about 3 million.

“The number of refugees who are willing to go back home has decreased in 2016 due to insecurity in their homeland,” he said stressing that repatriation of the Afghans to their home country is a top priority for the UN refugee agency. Tehran has often said that it wants the refugees to leave, many of whom have been living in Iran for almost four decades.

He did not explain whether or not the agency, which has come under increasing criticism in recent years for alleged fraud and corruption, would help them if they decided to go to another country and not to war-ravaged Afghanistan.