In areas that lack Internet access, Iranian children are forced to drop out of school in the wake of school closures triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the province of Sistan and Baluchestan – among the country’s most impoverished – there are more flaws in the education system than in other regions. They are amplified by mismanagement on the part of regime officials.
Students’ access to online education is a significant issue in this province. The new tuition charges for online classes have compounded the problem. Since school closures were enforced, education has been provided online.
In Sistan and Baluchestan province, particularly in rural areas, online education has been especially challenging because students are at different grade levels.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, many female students in the area were forced to drop out of school due to the long commute between their village homes and the nearest schools. Today, however, tuition fees for online education are another reason that female students are dropping out of school.
Critical issues related to Internet access in these areas include poor connections and low bandwidth. In fact, bandwidth is not enough for students to download even an educational video.
In different parts of Sistan and Baluchestan, lower-income residents, who can barely earn a living, are unable to obtain Internet packages (The state-run ROKNA news agency – April 29, 2020).
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, studying in public and private schools has become much more difficult. Many Iranian children from low-income families are prevented from studying under these conditions. Children who are forced to drop out will suffer social harm.
In other news, high school students in the province of North Khorasan have to go to the tops of hills to access the Internet, just to download their lessons.
In the city of Saqqez, only 12 children in a 30-student class can use their parents’ phones to access online courses (The state-run Shahrvand daily newspaper – April 13, 2020).
In cities around Tehran, students are unable to receive online education due to the poor quality of their mobile phones.
Students in many cities in Iran are missing school. The lack of access to online learning is not only denying students their education; it is also causing significant anxiety.