The tragic suicide of Mohammad Mousavizadeh, an 11-year-old student from Bushehr, due to poverty and lack of access to a mobile device to study online, once again reveals that the oppression, corruption, and discrimination imposed by the religious fascism ruling Iran has permeated all aspects of the Iranian people’s lives.
The state-run news agency Rokna quoted Mohammad’s mother as saying, “We had a problem for two or three months. My son did not have a proper phone. The mobile phone he had was faulty. We did not have a good life. We were living in a rental home with an ailing husband. I have a few other children. Mohammad needed a mobile phone because the one we had did not work properly. He could not send audio or take photos with it. He did not say anything. His teacher asked him to send an audio file or send an image. We told his teacher what was going on. His teacher told him to go and tell (your problem to) your father, not me. This is our story.”
Mohammad is not the only example. According to the state-run daily Hamshahri on September 14, Mani, a 14-year-old student in Kermanshah, could not afford a cell phone because his family could not afford it. To earn money, he became a porter. He was pursued by regime agents, during which he fell down a mountain and died.
These unfortunate instances come at a time when, despite initial claims by the clerical regime that it will address requirements for online education for free, including providing smartphones and free internet for students, government officials are predicting a probability of 36% of boys dropping out of school due to poverty and inability to provide mobile phones or tablets, particularly in the rural areas. The state-run daily Javan quoted on September 1, 2020, the Director-General of Education for Kerman Province as saying, “More than 240,000 students in Kerman Province do not have smartphones.”
The catastrophic situation of students and children of workers and laborers, especially in deprived areas of the country, results from the criminal and plundering policies of the religious fascism ruling Iran. While the vast majority of Iranians are unable to acquire the necessary masks and minimum requirements to protect themselves against Coronavirus, the clerical regime is plundering the national wealth or squandering it on its missile and nuclear programs or its warmongering abroad.
National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
October 14, 2020