Read with Me in Sistan and Balouchestan Province
Geographical location: South-East of Iran
Age-group: Kindergarten and Preschool, First to Fourth grade of Elementary School
Number of Children: 20,000
Number of Teachers: 800
Start Date: December 2014
According to a Member of Parliament from Sistan and Baluchestan, 200,000 children and adolescents in Sistan and Baluchestan Province are out of school, and only 50 percent of students finish high school. Moreover, one third of the classes in this province are non-standard. 70% of the population lives below the poverty line, and Sistan and Baluchestan is the last province of Iran in terms of development.
The deprivation, unemployment and long borders of the province with the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan and access to free waters have led to the prevalence of smuggling. Baluchistan has been struggling with drought for many years, and this has led people to abandon agricultural work and supply their families through the exchange of goods.
According to many teachers covered by the “Read with Me” program, many families refrain from expressing their family providers’ real job by general terms such as “free-lance”, while most of them provide their families through smuggling. Another problem in this province is the high rate of unregistered marriages and children without birth certificates.