Tehran Schools Need Seismic Upgrade

Tehran Schools Need Seismic UpgradeTehran Schools Need Seismic Upgrade

Approximately 30,000 billion rials ($1.12 billion) funding is required for seismic upgrade and renovation of existing schools and the construction of new schools in Tehran Province, Governor Hossein Hashemi said on the occasion of the 16th national earthquake preparedness drill conducted in the city schools, ISNA reported.

Noting that a single earthquake drill is not enough to prepare the students for natural disasters such as earthquakes, he urged the ministry of education and other government and non-government bodies to regularly conduct “various preparedness programs in schools across the country.”

The governor said 7000 billion rials ($260 million) of the 30,000 billion rials is needed for construction of schools under the Mehr housing projects.

 No Amenities

The so-called Mehr housing scheme, launched by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2007, aimed to provide thousands of units to low-income families to cover a part of the shortage by constructing 2 million housing units in 5 years. But the completed Mehr projects lack the necessary amenities. Since the housing units are located on the city outskirts, there is need for construction of new schools in the vicinity of residential localities.  

Hashemi asked donors and affluent parents to contribute towards construction of schools in Tehran Province and for Mehr housing, citing lack of sufficient government funds as the reason preventing realization of such projects.

Citing concern over safety of school buildings in the capital, he said the province still has schools constructed 60 years ago. “These schools are in urgent need of retrofitting,” he noted.

To a question why 5% of housing taxes has not been allocated for renovation and construction of new schools by the ministry of education, he said the issue was related to the municipality and not the governor’s office, but promised to follow up on the matter.