Having close to Mehr (Opening school month), social media in Iran has saw a campaign from users called #NotleftoutfromMehr to take attention on education right of migrant children who have been left out school due to different reasons such as legal status, schooling fees and etc.
According to Ms. Ashrafi, CEO. Founder of HAMI association, this twitter storm was one of the civil activities that helped to make Afghan children registration at public schools even better than previous years. She said to Etemad newspapr: “Last year, despite all measures done to remove legal barriers, only 10% of our target population have succeed to benefit from the new opportunity to register and study at school. One of the reasons was limited information dissemination and the other was human barriers and personal discriminative behaviours. Some of school managers and local and provincial authorities had no faith to implement new regulation, so in consequence we received so many complain from Afghan families who were prevented to register their children and in many cases personal decisions stopped children from schooling. Fortunately, this year as a result of social sensitivity and extensive presence of civil society in collaboration with Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) and different layers at Ministry of Education (MOE), these obstacles have fallen sharply.”
She added: “still there is a long way to reach to the ideal situation which is an equal access of education for both Iranian and Afghan children, but this year’s achievements show there is a hope for the future. Until now 60,000 new “Special Education Support Card” (Blue cards) have been issues by BAFIA. We’d better be patient until Mehr and end of school registrations to see at the end how many of them would be able to register at schools. Important issues is discriminatory behaviors on children registration have been considerably reduced.
Ms. Ashrafi, added currently the main barriers for children registration are infrastructural. Many of Iranian and Afghan children live in margin areas which makes it difficult to get access to schools and educational centers.
. Ms. Ashrafi pointed to children with older age of their schooling age as another problem and said: “Some students are older than their schooling age which prevent them to enter to education system. For instance a child at age of 10 want to start the first grade which is normally for 6 or 7 years old children, and since MOE rarely face with such issues in large scale making solution become time consuming. We have negotiated with literacy Movement Organization and they are getting ready to to take proper measures to cover these group of children.”
HAMI association with a slogan of “even one child out of school is too many”, hope to realize it in corporation with other relevant authorities.