Hassan Mahmoudi
Iran: Teachers' Protests, Amid Warsaw Summit

While the global news attention turns to Warsaw conference, hosted jointly by the United States and Poland to address the malign activities of Iran which have been plaguing the Middle East for 40 years, and now the Trump administration and its Polish allies are looking for ways to end it.

Iran witnessed a nationwide strike by teachers and educators. Iranian social media exploded with photos and videos of the teachers’ protest across more than a dozen cities.

According to the women.ncr-iran.org news: Iranian teachers and educators held their nationwide protests for the fourth time this year, on Thursday, February 14, 2019.

By the time of this report, the protests of Iranian teachers and educators have been held in Mashhad, Kermanshah, Urmia, Ardabil, Khorramabad, Sanandaj and Marivan.

Working and retired women teachers actively participated in this fourth round of nationwide protests, as they previously did.

Iranian teachers and educators demanded payment of their salaries, freedom of imprisoned teachers and free education for all children, among others.

In Kermanshah, western Iran, Iranian teachers, and educators held a big rally outside the Department of Education in this city. Women teachers and educators had actively participated in this protest. They chanted, “Working and retired (teachers), unite!”

Teachers and educators in Sanandaj & Urmia (west & northwest Iran, respectively) protesting poor education standards & demanding higher wages, including better pensions for retired colleagues, they held placards which read, “One must cry for a society whose teachers are jailed.” Women held placards which demanded free education for all children in Iran.

The gatherings of Iranian teachers and educators in Mashhad, Urmia, and Marivan were also held outside the Department of Education in these cities.

A number of teachers and educators were arrested in Urmia, as the gathering was held despite the massive presence of security forces who feared the spread of the protests. The number of troops sent to disperse and suppress the protest was more than the participants, an eyewitness said.

Iranian teachers and educators had held nationwide protests, strikes, and sit-ins on three previous occasions in the months of May, October, and November. The October strike was held in more than 60 cities in 26 provinces.

Teachers’ salaries in Iran are one-third of the poverty line, but most of the teachers are on temporary contracts and they receive even smaller wages, less than one-fourth of the poverty line.

Iranian teachers and educators have held at least 280 protests over the past year which is at least three folds greater than the 88 protests held throughout the previous year.

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