Contract teachers, as well as teachers from the Literacy Movement, staged a 3-day protest in front of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) from June 21 to June 23.
During the 3-day protest the teachers demonstrated against ill-defined conditions of employment conditions, job instability, and the challenges of maintaining a livelihood.
While protesting, teachers chanted, “Neither discrimination nor exams, justice, justice.” State security forces attacked protesters, arresting several.
“Officers beat and arrested three teachers. But the teachers continued their protests and chants,” reported one of the protest’s participants.
The teachers in the Literacy Movement have worked for years; some have as many as 10 years of teaching experience. However, since last year, they have been asked to take teachers’ university entrance exams to be officially hired.
Iran’s Council of Retirees issued the following statement in support of the 3-day protests by teachers:
“These teachers have been teaching and training students for years. They have had to live with meager wages, substandard facilities, and minimal benefits. They have not even enjoyed job security. Every year, more than in the prior year, the teachers worry about job security and earning a decent living. Although these teachers have years of teaching experience and are obviously eligible for employment, they are still in limbo while waiting to be hired by the Ministry of Education.”
Unfortunately, under the Mullahs’ rule in Iran, living conditions for teachers – more than 50% of whom are women – are far below acceptable standards. Iranian teachers must contend with remaining unpaid for months; suffering unfair wage adjustments given the rising cost of living; and having no medical insurance.
Instead of being able to focus on providing a good education for their students, teachers in Iran are preoccupied with making ends meet.