Eduction Ministry Oral History During 8 Years of Imposed War

Sara Rashadi-zadeh


In 261st program of “Memory Night”, Ali –Asghar Fani narrated his memories from the 8 years of War and Education Ministry attempts


According to the report by Iranian Oral history Website, 261st program of Memory Night was held in Arts Center (Hozeh-ye Honari) on September 24th.


In this session for the commemoration of Holy Defense Week and beginning the new educational year, Ali Asghar Fani, Education Minister, Hamidreza Kaffash, his cultural assistant and Mr. Yousefzadeh narrated their memories from Holy Defense years.


In this session Fani presented the oral history of education ministry during the 8 years of war. He said: “Education Ministry sent more than 550 thousand students of teaching training centers and also more than 90 thousand teachers to the fronts of which 5 thousand people were martyred.”


He added: “Moreover, education ministry was so effective in persuading warriors to fight. We had run some complexes which would compensate the interruptions in the education of student warriors. Beside these complexes we had built some other similar complexes for the martyrs’ wives to continue their studies.”


Fani added: “In the years of 1985 till 1989 in the war headquarters at the ministry, I was education assistant of minister and two days week we would hold session to discuss about the war issues. Sometime cities were under the bombardment and the people would ask us if the school were open or not? I remember once Iraqis bombarded a school in the town of Mianeh and some students were martyred.”


The education Ministry said: “It was a heavy responsibility. If we would say the schools were open, we were responsible for any accident and if we would close them, the students’ studies would be interrupted. So, we created a War Headquarters in the ministry to answer such questions.”


Fani reminded: “In 1987, near the end of education year, Dr. Akrami, then Ministry of Education told me that it was decided in a government session that before the middle of May there would be no operations and the school exams should be finished before that date. We were in a dilemma and that was how we could inform 15 million students all over the country about this matter without revealing this secret.”


He added: “We were forced to inform all the schools around the country that one fifth of school books are omitted and the exams will begin on 21st of April. Many provinces asked us to extend the final date till 17th of May and we could not explain the reason for them.”


Reminding this memory, Fani continued: “After the operations, we called the students to school again to compensate and teach the omitted parts of the school books. Later, we heard Saddam had also ordered to finish Iraqi students’ exams before mid-May.”


The Education Ministry said: “In 1987 Tehran was targeted by Iraqi missiles and we discussed about if the students had to come to school or not. Finally we decided to let the parents decide whether they should their kids them to school or study at home. We used the TV and Radio to compensate the teaching problems at homes. About one month teachers were teaching the students on different TV or radio networks.”


He said: “We had also challenges to afford these teachers. Good and experienced teachers had gone from Tehran. For instance, for one of the courses we only could find one teacher who was still in Tehran but he had broken his leg.”


Then Fani reminded of his 4 years of presence in Kurdistan and said; “At the time that the late Mr. Parvaresh was the administrator of the 16th educational district of Tehran, once he told me that they needed education managers in some parts of the country like Kurdistan. Its previous manager was assassinated on September 10th 1981 and needed a new one.”


Mentioning the Kurdistan problems including the activities of anti-revolutionary groups and the matter of different religion and language, he said: “It was decided that I go there to Kurdistan for one week as the representative of minister. On those days some routes to Kurdistan was in the hand of anti-revolutionaries during the daylight. For instance, The Salavat-Abad Pass was in the hands of revolutionaries from 8 o’clock in the morning till 4 in the evening and from 4 in the evening till the next morning in the hands of anti-revolutionaries.”


Fani Added: “In the Bus that we were going with toward Sanandaj, all the passengers were speaking Kurdish. Finally we reached to the point that the bus had to stop till the next morning and wait until the route get opened. My friends and I saw that all the passengers got off the bus but we could not understand what they were saying. Anyway…, all the people went to the inn nearby and we stayed in the bus with all that coldness until all the people came back. Around 8 o’clock we reached Sanandaj and after a few days we could gather an 8-page report and returned to Tehran. Then after, the late Parvaresh assigned me as the education administrator in that province and I announced every day was the first day of school there.”


Fani said: “On those days education forces would begin teaching after clearance of each village out of the hands of anti-revolutionaries. In some cases schools began their work on the 1st of January. We believed cultural activity was a need there. So along with Martyr Boroujerdi we implied the project of moving cultural forces to Kurdistan from all over the country and in two months we could gather 600 cultural forces in Kurdistan who served in different parts of Education Ministry, the Revolutionary Guards, Construction Jihad, 7-member land distribution mission and the Great Islamic Center in the west of country.”


In the end Fani reminded the trust in Kurdistan people as his successful policy and added: “We took the Revolution culture from the students to the families and I remember on the day that Khorramshahr was freed, people burst into the streets of Sanandaj and celebrated that victory.”


 The 261st program of Memory Night was held on Thursday evening, September 24th at Arts Center.


This program is held at Arts Center on the first Thursday of each month few hours before evening and warriors of Imposed Iraqi war against Iran would gather there and tell their memories.

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