“Teaching Love” Program
“No poverty is more difficult than ignorance.”
Teaching Love Project’s Poster – Poster shows a child labor is working and studying.
With respect to the level of knowledge and science progress in human societies, proper education in all fields appears to be one of the most essential needs of people. Obviously, lack of access to primary education for 93 million children (according to UNICEF, 2006) across the world is considered a crisis. That’s why such organizations as UNICEF and UNESCO specifically follow comprehensive educational projects across the world to eradicate cultural poverty of communities.
Education promotes quality of life and has undoubtedly a direct effect on reducing complicated problems such as poverty and hunger. According to article 28 of a convention adopted in the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989 (the Convention on Rights of the Child) the right for all children to have access to education is officially recognized. Furthermore, ratifying countries have pledged to take necessary actions to reduce cases of quitting school by students. Article 29 of the same convention describes one of the objectives of education as nurturing the talents and physical and mental abilities of every child.
What, more than anything else, encourages the student members of IAPSRS to struggle in line with promotion of society’s educational levels and develop gender equity in education is their awareness and knowledge concerning numerous deprived children whose dreams, ambitions, and talents are totally fading in cultural and thought poverty. Hence, the principal priority in all our activities is given to provision of educational services to the children of the families under our protection. We develop and implement our educational projects in line with the principles of the Convention on Rights of the Child and on the basis of necessities and educational complications in Iran.
Some of children’s problems with education in Iran:
Children un-enrolled in educational system and students quitting school; this may be due to the following reasons:
- Families are unable to pay for educational expenses
- Children have to work as family bread winners
- Families have problems such as cultural poverty or addicted, unemployed or divorced parents.
- Students working parallel to studying
Some poor students are weak in their studies and this may be as a result of:
- Massive educational material and predominance of some wrong educational procedures leading to creation of lack of interest or even hatred for studying among students.
- Inability of students to pay for makeup classes.
- Lack of good humane relationship between teachers and students as a result of which what flows from the teacher to the student is not a deeply understood.
- Emotional crisis among students in deprived regions.
Lack of suitable models for students in deprived areas:
Children growing up in the heart of social problems, are exposed to social disasters such as addiction and poverty, and they will naturally follow their living environment’s thinking and behavioral models; this will cause the vicious circles of indigence and sickness to continue in the future of these children. We can only hope that these vicious circles will break up with provision and application of proper ethical models and practical education in the field of social behavior. Teaching Love Project is designed with regard to such complexities and aims at reducing calamities which may evolve in any of these fields.
Many educational experts believe that every individual has his own talent(s) which in cases that it (they) is (are) found and trained, not only he/she can run his/her own life but also they may positively affect the lives of others. As so far insufficient attention is paid to identifying and nurturing these talents, poverty can be wiped off the faces of the poor through adequately implementing and investing on projects such as Teaching Love for the children of deprived families.
Volunteer teacher and deprived students taking a photo after the project “Teaching Love.”
Project Teaching Love objectives
Objective of the Project is to create educational justice. Here educational justice means provision of proper and equal education to all children.
Short term objectives
- Promoting the educational condition of students in deprived areas through makeup and part time classes to enable them pass their final examinations.
- Provision of proper behavioral models to the children of needy families with potential problems.
- Identifying the deprived (working) children and beginning to educate them.
- Organizing different expert teams and planning for promoting the project quality.
Existing active teams include: research, laboratory, publication, psychology, educational consultancy, communication and advertising, documentary making, conference organizing, educational courses inspection, recreational camping, and educational planning teams.
Teams being formed up include: Child labor, scientific and specialized seminars, and scientific camping.
- Provision of more student grants in comparison with previous years.
- Full protection, nurturing, and helping to flourish talents of the children in selected families covered by the Society.
Long term objectives
- Provision of especial proper educational standards for the children in deprived areas.
- Establishment of non-profitable 24-hours-schools for the children with no or bad parents.
Volunteer teacher is teaching a poor student how to use a pencil and write.
How we perform the plan
Several conferences have been held in the universities of Tehran, Sharif, Amir Kabir, Allameh Tabatabai, Science and Technology, Khajeh Naseer, Payam-e-Noor with the purpose of informing and absorbing volunteers and experts. After introducing the project to conferences participants by using clips and PowerPoint’s, the volunteer university students and professors are grouped in separate teams with different assistance goals. Then, the professors, university students, and schools do voluntary works for the intended purposes. In order to keep records and being in touch with trainee students in the future, every group fills up a specific performance report form concerning the courses held in deprived areas. The forms are utilized to assess quality and quantity of the work done at the end of each educational term.
In terms of short term objectives this project, so far, has been operational in the schools twice a year before the final examination of terms 1 and 2. It has also been operational for the supported needy families in all days and along the year.
The above mentioned courses are held in four following ways:
- Sending teachers to poor students’ homes
- Presence of teachers in educational premises of Iranian Homes
- Presence of needy students in universities
- Volunteer Students teach at schools
Fatemeh, the deprived child, is taught at Molavi Iranian House by “Teaching Love Project”
Identifying and training a number of talented deprived students
For this purpose and in order to identify children and juveniles with the following characteristics these steps are taken among the children of the families under protection and the students in deprived areas:
- In their families they have acute social problems (such as poverty, addiction,...)
- Their talent and intelligence is special in one or more fields.
After full identification and making files for every individual, comprehensive actions are taken to fully protect the child and his family such as:
- Improving the student’s family situation in order to create a peaceful environment for the student
Camps for encouraging the students
Distinguished students during the scholar year are sent to recreational/educational camps of the Society for further encouragement. The students enjoy learning some social skills and have fun in a joyful environment during their stay at the camps. They will also relatively be acquainted with Iranian history and culture. Some of the camps held for the students from deprived families are as follows;
- Mashhad camp (held in summer time in 2005 and 2006)
- Isfahan (summer, 2007)
- Neka (summer, 2008)
- Tabriz (summer, 2009)
- Gorgan (summer, 2010)
Children are studying at Molavi Iranian House library
Near 5000 students have enjoyed receiving services from 2000 volunteer members of the Society working under this project in Tehran, Karaj, Shahryar, Nazarabad, Varamin, Kermanshah, Isfahan, Rasht, Kerman, and Ahvaz, and Shiraz between the starting of the project in 2007 and the date of this report (2011).
According to the teams inspecting and monitoring makeup classes most of the students are happy with their results and are eager to receive the services provided by the “Teaching Love Project”. More than 90% of the students of families covered by the Project Teaching Love had a progress in the average of their school marks. It is intended to introduce this project to other cities and to Afghanistan and Iraq, two neighboring countries of Iran.
Future of the Project
We are trying hard to achieve educational justice in Iran, but our attempt is not going to be limited to Iran. Our ambition, in line with UNICEF and UNESCO mandates, is to struggle in a way that every child in the world, free from any ethnic, religious, and racial dependencies, may enjoy having access to proper and optimized free education.
“He who opens a school door closes a prison.” Victor Hugo