In the days leading to Mehr, the first month of autumn in the Persian calendar, excited children can be seen everywhere happily walking from store to store in order to purchase their first school gear.
This year, millions of students celebrated the beginning of their new school year at a time when the country is grappling with some of the toughest unilateral US sanctions.
From more than 14.4 million students, 8.1 million will be receiving elementary education, 3.3 will study lower-secondary courses and 2.4 million will receive upper-secondary education.
Some 500,000 students are nationals of other countries, mostly Afghanistan, who are enrolled in around 28,000 schools across the country.
This year, more than 10,000 new classes have been added, bringing the total capacity to around 570,000 classes in 110,000 schools.
Rouhani told students on the first day of the 2019-2020 school year that they had a duty to do their utmost in school because they would soon be tasked with pushing the 1979 Islamic Revolution forward and shaping the country’s future.
“Besides the government, your families also want to see your success and studying well, learning your lessons and getting prepared for higher levels of progress in future [is what you need to do] in order to take on the heavy responsibilities of future,” he said.
“The country’s whole future is in your hands,” Rouhani added. “You are the third and fourth generations of the Revolution, the first and second generations are almost through with their mission.”
He noted that despite the economic pressures, the government has managed to dramatically increase funding for education.
The president also noted that teachers in all education levels were getting paid four times higher than the previous years, another sign that the country was thriving regardless of the hostile moves.
“Teachers make the country’s future,” he said, thanking all instructors for their work.
He also asked students to help the government make schools all the more enjoyable and keep the school environment friendly in order to avoid any instances of bullying.