Lecture of Minister of Education, Mr. Bathayi, in the Opening Session of the Meeting of Secretaries-general of ISESCO Member Countries

The first day of two-day international meeting of secretaries-general of ISESCO member countries started today, November 11th, in Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC) in Shiraz with speech of Mr. Bathayi, the chairman of the Supreme Council of National Commission of ISESCO in Iran.

Based on the reports of ISC and Regional Information Center for Science and Technology (RICeST) Office of International Scientific Cooperation (OISC), in the opening session of the meeting of secretaries-general of ISESCO National Commissions, mentioning that ISESCO is an appropriate place for cooperation and correlation of Islamic countries and nations, Mr. Bathayi said: “We believe that cooperation in cultural, scientific, and educational issues has an important role in creation of understanding and positive attitude among nations. And this provides a favorable context for communication, cooperation, and reinforcement of cohesion among nations, especially the common point of ISESCO member countries, i.e. Islam and its illustrious culture.

According to minister of education, having 54 countries as members, ISESCO plays an important role in international community and as an institution, it has a special international status.

Bathayi emphasized: “We appreciate ISESCO support of oppressed Muslim nations, especially Palestinian nation. And we find ISESCO acts for admitting their rights helpful.”

Pointing to effective role of Iran in codification of ISESCO programs, chairman of the Supreme Council of National Commission of ISESCO in Iran said: “Since Iran joined this organization, it has tried to have an efficient role in codification and performance of ISESCO programs.”

He continued: “The Regional Office of ISESCO and National Commission of ISESCO in Iran are two active institutions which have always kept on with making an effort in coordinating and performing scientific midterm and triennial and also special programs of ISESCO in any conditions and has a serious determination in pursuing ISESCO programs.”

Stating that education is the cornerstone of improvement and sustainable development, the minister of education declared: “If education enjoys the quality which suits the conditions and requirements of the day, it can play the key role in establishing understanding and peace among nations. Therefore, we attempt to enhance the criteria and quality standards in Ministry of Education and improve the educational system with regard to quantitative and qualitative factors.”

Presenting the statistics of the percentage of education of children at school age in Iran, Bathayi indicated: “Currently, the educational system of Iran covers 99 percent of children at school age in elementary level, and its absorption rate has reached more than 85 percent in high school level.”

He added: “We have been able to absorb 96 percent of girls at school age to educational system and make the gender equality ratio 49 to 51. These attempts have resulted in making Iran one of the countries that have elementary education in UNESCO ranking. One of our other honors in Ministry of Education is registering and educating refugee children and teenagers at school age.”

About education of refugee children in schools of Iran, chairman of the Supreme Council of National Commission of ISESCO in Iran indicated: “Since four decades ago, Iran has been hosting thousands of refugee children in its schools and also it has been providing them with low-cost health services in addition to education.”

He continued: “These children who mostly suffer from physical and mental illnesses due to unpleasant situations of war and insecurity, can use health services of Iran with cooperation of two ministries; Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health and Medical Education.”

Bathayi said: “We have received trivial international support in case of refugee children’s education. Moreover, there was not any adequate international reflection of this act, through which more than 400 thousands are covered every year and in the current year, more than 500 thousands have been included.”

He emphasized: “We do not treat these children as foreigners, but we have behaved them as our own children and educated them as any other Iranian in our schools. Based on the command of the supreme leader of Iran, we have not deprived any refugee child, even those who do not have identity cards, of education.”

Stating that Iran is proud of having a considerable number of graduated Afghan experts working in their own country or other parts of the world, the minister of education declared: “One of the most cruel sanctions which has been illegal and one-sided has been imposed by USA on our country and we have been deprived of many of our rights in international arena.”

He stated: “However, our country and our nation have always taken steady steps towards independence and have never given up to injustice. In Ministry of Education of Iran, we try to go forward to achieve our goals despite all the difficulties and negative effects of the sanctions.”

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