The deprivation of non-Persian children with regards to education in their mother tongue will result in non- Persian student’s inability to comprehend the course materials at school, since the materials are written in a language that is different from their mother tongue.
These children must simultaneously learn Farsi and the course materials. This will eventually lead to a high percentage of these students dropping out of school and facing deep challenges. They are the silent victims of educational injustice and the imposition of Farsi language.
One of the regions that deals with bilingual children is Sistan and Baluchistan. Pooran Ismaili, the CEO of ‘Yaran Nikookar Jame’ which is operating in the field of rural development and education in Dashtyari region (Sistan and Baluchistan) states the following regarding such issues: “Baluchi is the language of the people in Sistan and Baluchistan and children have no familiarity with Farsi until they go to school, since they speak Baluchi at home and Iranian TV is less watched.”
Following the first grade, these children must learn reading, writing, and speaking in Farsi. Learning and studying in Farsi at the start of school is a general challenge.
Ismaili added that the in bilingual schools, the teacher to be able to instruct the students, must speak with children in their mother tongue for hours. This will result in students having a weak level of reading and writing in Farsi and continue to the other grades with the same weak level. These students will eventually reach a dead end.
This activist in the field of education highlighted that there are other contributing factors which prevent children from further access to education. In deprived regions where children are bilingual, poverty, lack of facilities, distance from high schools and transport issues renders the situation impossible. In these regions, due to bilingualism, and the fact that the students do not learn or comprehend Farsi, they are discouraged, and they barely reach second and third grade, but when they reach the fourth or fifth grade, dropping out starts.
In other words, due to the hardship that the child experiences in understanding Farsi, the child reaches a point where she/he tends to drop out. As families are poor, they are more susceptible.
Ismaili notes that there are no statistics on dropping out of school due to bilingualism and adds that “we have not done official research in this field, but as a person who has been involved in the field of education in Dashtyari, I have witnessed this issue so many times. I still witness, high schools’ students who cannot write alone and without stress.”
“The number of students who must complete high school is decreasing. This phenomenon refers to the fact that the issue of bilingualism is one of the major challenges in education in the region and with each passing grade, the problem becomes more prevalent.”
“According to statistics of ministry of education in Dashtyari, there are 37.000 students and out of this 53% of girls drop out by end of high school, while by the official statistics this percentage is 20 girls.
Source: End of Monolinfualism