Ads on School Walls Draws Flak

Ads on School Walls Draws FlakAds on School Walls Draws Flak

The proposal to use school walls for commercial purposes in the form of advertisements has raised a controversy with a member of the Majlis Education and Research Committee voicing fierce opposition to the plan.

Esfandiar Ekhtiari in an interview with ICANA (Majlis official news website) said executing the plan would “distance schools from their educational and cultural mission.”

The Zoroastrian lawmaker noted that the sacred mission of schools is to promote culture and said commercialism would be a deviation from that ideal.

“Any commercial activity in schools is not purposeful and will inflict damage on the academic mission of schools,” Ekhtiari said. “School walls must be covered with didactic content and images so to enhance the character of the school children.”

He emphasized that advertisement on school walls is not even economically feasible as “schools are places to embrace the society’s culture and everything that is done within the schools must have such aspirations.”

Instead, Ekhtiari asked for more cultural programs to be conducted in schools saying “when students watch advertisements they will find no food for thought culture-wise and education-wise.”

 Creation of a “happy environment” to boost school children’s morale should also be at the forefront in building the character of schoolchildren, he added.

The proposal to use school walls for commercial purposes has been unprecedented  in the history of education in Iran. According to 2013 statistics, there are over 104,000 educational centers in Iran with more than 17 million students studying in them. According to the Constitution, school education should be free for all children. There are also 329,000 foreign students studying in Iranian schools.