Schools gradually reopen in Iran amid declining Covid cases
Schools in Iran are due to reopen for students in years 10, 11 and 12 as academic institutions across the country continue to gradually return to in-person studies this academic year due to a decline in Covid-19 infection rates, Tehran Times reported on Friday.
The resumption of face-to-face classes will continue on 22 November, when students in years seven, eight and nine follow suit, the state-affiliated news outlet said.
Around 16 million Iranian students began their academic year on 25 September - mostly virtually - when the Director General of Tehran's Office of Education Abdolreza Fouladvand announced the gradual return policy, the official IRNA news agency reported.
"Education... is currently held virtually in order to gradually provide the conditions for face-to-face education... with better disease conditions... and the completion of the general vaccination process," the Iranian government said in a statement released on their website in September.
Students returning to school must be fully vaccinated, according to the instruction of Iranian Health Minister Braham Einollahi, who said that students must be given priority at vaccination centres, IRNA reported.
Education centres across Iran closed in February 2020 to prevent the spread of coronavirus, before reopening seven months later in September 2020, despite concerns over the spread of coronavirus.
At the time, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended the government’s plans to reopen schools as he highlighted the importance of education and stated academic activities should go on while measures were taken to protect students' health.
But most schools across the country closed again in October 2020 to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Some 54.7 million Iranians have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 37.8 million have received their second doses, Iran's Ministry of Health revealed on Friday. The population of the country is estimated at just over 85,000,000 people, according to Worldometer.
Some 9,510 new infections are reported in Iran on average daily, which is 23% of the country's peak reported on August 17.