Iran-UNHCR built schools in Iran double: Official

Shiraz, April 16, IRNA – The number of schools built in Iran in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has doubled since President Hassan Rouhani came to office in 2013, an Education Ministry official announced.

Deputy Director of international affairs and foreign schools of the Ministry of Education told IRNA here that eight schools have been built since 2013 in collaboration with the UNHCR while seven more had already been built in different provinces throughout the country.

The construction of four new schools in different provinces during the current Iranian year is also on the agenda, Shaahin Noushabadi added.
Some 410,000 immigrant students study in these schools, 360,000 of them are Afghan nationals, he noted.

Following an edict issued by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordering to provide education for all immigrants, 48,000 Afghan students illegally residing in Iran enrolled in the schools around the country, said the official.

Noushabadi underlined that the UNHCR financial cooperation in construction of the schools is considerable but that more help is needed.

He said, for example, for construction of Shahid Habibzadeh School in Shiraz, inaugurated last Wednesday, the UNHCR invested eight billion rials while Iran endowed six billion rials, but that the UNHCR is expected to undertake the whole construction costs of such schools in Iran.

The overall share of the UNHCR for the education of immigrant students in Iran is 36 billion rials, but Iran spends about 8,000 billion rials for them, therefore the UNHCR share in education of immigrant students in Iran in comparison with Iran’s corresponding expenditure is not proportionally appropriate, Noushabadi said.

He said that in a recent meeting with the UNHCR representative in Iran, he has asked for its more financial cooperation with Iran in the related affairs.