Iran reopens senior high schools after 20-month shutdown

Iranian teenagers headed back to classrooms on Saturday morning after 20 months as high Covid-19 vaccination rates paved the way for a return to normalcy.

8 November 2021
ID : 33228
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Iranian teenagers headed back to classrooms on Saturday morning after 20 months as high Covid-19 vaccination rates paved the way for a return to normalcy.

Grade 10-12 pupils resumed in-person learning on Saturday for the first time since February 2020 when all educational institutions were ordered to close to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, ISNA reported.

President Ebrahim Raeisi during the National Coronavirus Headquarters meeting pointed to the easing of lockdown measures across the country and said, “The top priority is to preserve the health of students, workers and the general public.”

He also called for the strict observance of social distancing rules and safety measures when reopening any crowded center. 

Ahead of the planned school reopening, Iran made children age 12 and up eligible for Covid-19 vaccines.

A senior official at the Education Ministry, Azam Goudarzi, said over 5.6 million students between the ages of 12 to 18 (85%) have been given a first Covid vaccine shot.  

“More than 24% of students have received the second dose,” she added, noting that, “Overall, 6.305 million students are between 12 to 18 years old and they are being administered the Sinopharm vaccine.”

Many poor rural children missed out on online education over the course of lockdowns. Primary school pupils are scheduled to return to schools starting November 22.

Universities have also been authorized to resume physical return to classes but most universities have decided to continue with online education due to financial difficulties and the imminent dangers of the infection’s resurgence.

Health officials have warned about the potential risks of nationwide schools reopening as signs point an emerging sixth wave of the infectious disease. 

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