On Sunday, March 1, teachers from across Iran staged demonstrations to protest against budget cuts, discrimination and lack of government support.

Teachers from several provinces, including Bushehr, Fars, Lorestan and Khorasan Razavi, took part in demonstrations. In some cities, including Marivan and Saqqez in Iranian Kurdistan and Pakdasht southeast of Tehran, teachers organized sit-ins in public places.

In Tehran, nearly 2,000 teachers gathered outside parliament to express their frustration and anger.

The Secretary of Iranian Teacher's Union announced that government officials had turned down its request to organise a sanctioned rally outside parliament. Soon after the request was denied, authorities blocked access to the union’s website.

Teachers marched anyway, and not just in Tehran. According to reports from the Iranian Labour News Agency, teachers were furious that the Ministry of Education budget for next year fell well below what was required to ensure standards of education were upheld. The new budget comes into force in about a month’s time, after the Nowruz holiday. Educators also called for a rise in their salaries, pointing to “the distressing state of teachers’ livelihood” across Iran. They said that the government was discriminating against state employees, a policy that was having a particularly detrimental effect on teachers.

At many of the rallies, teachers held signs that read “Value Teachers, the Culture-Builders of Society” and “Stop Discrimination, No Poverty for Teachers.”

 

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