Promoting Parity in School Education

Promoting Parity in School EducationPromoting Parity in School Education

Based on the Fundamental Education Reform Document, the Education Ministry aims to revamp the national education system in the interest of uniformity and help achieve parity in school education.

The national document (2011-21) has 23 goals and some of the important ones include technology integration in education, promoting innovation in education, improving educational content, promoting status of teachers, increasing private sector participation and investment in educational infrastructure, among others. The document was approved in July 2010 by the Supreme Council of Education, and is being implemented by the Education Ministry since 2011.

“Some of the selective schools for exceptional students will be merged with regular schools and thus help narrow the gap in the education field,” said Mehdi Navid Adham, head of the Supreme Education Council, IRNA reported.

While there won’t be a total elimination of schools for students with exceptional talents by 2021 as envisaged in the document, however the admission procedures at NODET schools will be scrutinized, and only the most erudite students will be admitted.

Selective schools (middle and high school level) in Iran are developed specifically for exceptionally talented students by the National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents (NODET).

Experts will also narrow down the categorization of students to a few criteria through an evaluation process; for instance, students with limited disability should be in the same classroom with normal students and not study in special needs schools, Adham added. 

The same rule will be applied for gifted students, he said, adding that ending the categorization of students would bring advantages, like having knowledgeable and learned teachers for all students.

Admission to NODET schools is selective and based on a comprehensive nationwide entrance examination. 

 Tough Entry

Every year thousands of students apply to enter the schools, from whom less than 1% are chosen for the 99 middle and 98 high schools. Each student has the chance of admission to the school only twice during their schooling years. The first chance is when they are in grade 5 of elementary school and the second when the student is in grade 9. 

If the student is accepted in grade 5 then they are re-evaluated in grade 9, with others not successful in their first attempt, to ensure they are still qualified to pursue further studies in schools for the exceptionally talented.

Each entrance exam includes two tests devised to measure intelligence and talent of the participants rather than their acquired knowledge. Once students are considered competitive, they are allowed to take the first test, the result of which determines if they are allowed to take the second test. The source of questions is not pre-announced.

Talented students continue to receive special education after passing the entrance exam to the designated schools under NODET.  

NODET schools are specifically for the development of exceptionally talented students in Iran. In Tehran, there are 41 such schools. NODET was first established in 1976 and re-established in 1987.

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