An inability to master the language of instruction is a factor in explaining academic failure. This failure is usually shown to be more severe in rural areas and among the deprived urban strata. The most important reason for this sharp drop in academic failure is non-native language education. In the early years of education, the child must develop an emotionally strong bond with the teacher. If the language of the child and the teacher are different, this bond will not be formed and the child will find itself emotionally alienated from the class and the teacher.
Out of every one thousand students whose language of instruction is the same as their mother tongue, only four do not go to school at all, while this number is 37 for students who have to study in a language other than their mother tongue, which is 9 times more. In other words in an equal condition: out of every 10 students who do not go to school, 9 belong to a group who are taught in a language other than their native language.
In one of the statistics presented by the head of the Iranian Literacy Movement Organization, there are 11 million illiterate people and about 9 million absolutely illiterate people in Iran, with the highest illiteracy rate is in the border provinces of the country. Although the study did not explicitly name the provinces, education experts warn that illiteracy and dropout rates are higher in the border provinces where different ethno-lingusitic groups to the nation live.
According to the science of education deputy of the Program and Budget Organization:
“Bilingualism has been evaluated as one of the causes of lack of development in education and academic failure.”
According to the Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, as of December 2015, 170,000 children dropped out of primary school in the academic year 2014-2015, and a large number of those who failed were bilingual children. According to Ahmad Maidari, Deputy Minister of Welfare, Cooperatives, Labor “In the first and second grades, 67 percent of those who failed came from nine provinces, and academic failure in the first grade is less than 2 percent in normal areas and more than 9 percent in bilingual areas,” he said.
Maryam Daneshgar, a member of the faculty of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature, in an article reviewed and compared the scores of students in bilingual areas with monolingual areas and stated:’
“observing the results of the final exam scores of Iranian students, comparisons show that the weakest academic results belong to bilingual regions and provinces.’’
The director general of the Office of Primary Education and its experts have previously acknowledged: “Students’ bilingualism upon entering school is the most important reason for their academic failure and, as a result, their dropout.’’