Over 15 million students in Iran will go back to schools on Saturday, seven million of them live in the red zones of COVID-19. The education ministry says online education will for now be limited to the red spots. In the orange and green zones, in-person teaching will be adopted.
Iran’s education system was caught off guard by the sudden need to make a quick shift to remote learning last year. The ICT infrastructure is still not prepared to cater to seven million students, many of whom are cut off from the internet grid, or cannot afford the costs of high-speed internet.
The education ministry has reached out to one of the high-profile mobile operators to fix this problem.
The ICT ministry has also promised to increase network speed by fourfold. But until then, students who live in areas with poor or no communications services will be provided with self-study packages.
The education sector has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus. But Iran’s education ministry says there’s a silver lining to every crisis. It says COVID-19 was a wake-up call for Iran to look at distance learning not as a complementary tool, but as an alternative to in-person education; a goal which the ministry vowed to bring about in a matter of six months.