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Out of the nearly 110,000 schools across the country, about 70% were unsafe and unsecure in 2013,  but the figure has now reduced to 30%.
Out of the nearly 110,000 schools across the country, about 70% were unsafe and unsecure in 2013,  but the figure has now reduced to 30%.

Investing in Schools Will Pay in Long Run

Investing in Schools Will Pay in Long Run

The number of unsafe schools across the country has seen a remarkable decrease over the past three years, said Education Minister Fakhreddin Ahmadi Danesh-Ashtiani.
“Out of the nearly 110,000 schools across the country, about 70% were unsafe and unsecure in 2013, but the figure has been reduced to 30%,” he said at a meeting with patrons of school buildings in Kashan, Isfahan Province, Borna News Agency reported.
It is estimated that 100 trillion rials ($2.6 billion) is needed for the remaining schools to be secured and fortified against earthquakes, he said.
Lamenting the shortage of education space in the country, he said in a number of remote and under-privileged areas classrooms are unsafe and not as per the standards.
“Based on global standards, the number of students in each classroom should not exceed 20-25, but there are schools in Iran where there are 40 students in one classroom,” Danesh-Ashtiani said.
There are 14 million students in primary, middle and high schools across the country.
Underscoring the importance of investing in education and educational facilities, he said, “Investment in no other area will reap dividends as much as in education.”
The more we invest in education, the more it will pay off in other areas such as economy, health and urban development, he noted.
“Investing in education boosts national development; countries like Japan and South Korea that have seen rapid economic progressing in recent decades invested in the education sector several decades ago.”
The Education Ministry’s budget in 2013 was nearly 160 trillion rials ($4.2 billion), but has seen a two-fold increase to almost 300 trillion rials ($7.8 billion) over the past three years.
Between 2006 and 2014, Iran spent $4 billion on securing schools and promoting school safety.
The Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector defines a safe school as combining three components: safe learning facilities (disaster-resilient infrastructure), school disaster management, and disaster risk reduction and resilience education.
The United Nations member countries made commitments to the Worldwide Initiative for Safe Schools and School Safety Implementation at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and the outcome of the first meeting of Safe School Leaders that was held in Istanbul, Turkey in October 2014.

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