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Safe Schools for All

Safe School for Refugee Students

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The vast majority of Afghans and Iraqis have been living in Iran during the last decades. Afghans who has fled wars in Afghanistan since 1978 Saur Revolution in Kabul are mostly refugee in IR. Iran. Also there have been a growing number of refugee fleeing Iraq and settling in Iran as a neighbor country. There are around 840,158 afghan and 42,501 Iraqi refugees in Iran registered by "the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs" that they are mainly categorizing in four groups such as traders, diplomats, tourist and students.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has led the humanitarian efforts for refugees such as health care and education. Preparing the safe situation for education is a core component of UNHCR's international mandate between 2012 and 2016. achieving this goal, some actions have been done by UNHCR as follows:

  • Accessing to primary education for refugee children
  • Preparing secondary education for young people
  • Providing safe schools for all young learners
  • Achieving quality learning for 70% of girls and boys refugee in primary schools.
  • Teacher training for at least 80% of teachers that leads to improve quality of learning
  • Expanding non-formal and training opportunities for 40% of young people
  • Increasing 100% of students attending tertiary education
  • Enable early childhood education for 500,000 refugee children aged 3 to 5
  • Increase literacy rates among refugee adults by 50%

Many refugees do not have access to primary education, let alone to safe training environment. High quality education that builds relevant skills and knowledge enables refugees to live healthy and builds skills of self-reliance. So, Islamic Republic of Iran advocates for integrating refugee learners into national and safe educational system. Focusing on mentioned goals, follow actions have been conducted by Organization for Development, Renovation and Equipping of Schools of I.R. Iran (DRES) for refugee student.

  • Renovation and development of school structure
  • Construction of new schools in accordance with engineering standard and codes to protect safety of schools
  • Developing safe learning environment of school that is conductive to learning
  • Reduce the seismic vulnerability of schools with retrofitting or renovating the existing structure

A case study of refugee student was performed by DRES in Iran since 2003 to 2013 in order to estimate the overall budget of safe schools for refugee students. According to this research the numbers of Afghan and Iraqi refugee students are around 329,122 and 9,154 respectively. Remained number of them is belonged to other continent such as Asia, Europe, Africa and America as shown in Fig. 2 which is negligible due to the low number of them. So, due to the large number of Afghan refugees, the continuation of this research is only concentrated on this category.

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Fig 2: The number of refugee student in Iran


The distribution of refugee student in province of Iran is illustrated in Fig. 3 with fluctuation trend. It is obvious that the most number of them are living in Tehran, Khorasan Razavi and Isfahan.

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Fig 3: Distribution of Refugee Student in Province of Iran


According to Fig. 3, Afghan refugee students make up 94.18 % of total refugee students in Iran, therefore, it is essential to have cost estimation on training area and the number of classroom demonstrated in table 3. A cost estimate is often used to determine the required budget of school construction for refugee students of Afghanistan. As entire expense to build a classroom is around $30,000, the final cost estimation will be $274,260,000.


Required Budget($)ClassroomArea (m2)Afghan Refugee Student
2742600091421371300329,122

Table 3: cost estimation



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