School Curricula Guides


The national education system of Iran is one of the more mature educational frameworks in the region, although one that has had its fair share of tinkering. It still produces the goods - literate, skilled graduates.
Country of Origin: Iran
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Iran has a highly developed educational system which churns out highly literate, well qualified graduates - of both sexes. Female enrolment in Iranian universities is high - 60% according to some estimates.

The UAE has a number of Iranian curriculum schools. These perform adequately. No Iranian school in the UAE achieves better than an Acceptable rating - a shame and perhaps a surprise given the academic heritage of the country itself.

Iranian education is divided, essentially, into four stages.

Primary education (Dabestân دبستان) starts relatively late in Iran itself - at the age of 6, and lasts for a duration of 6 years.

Middle school, also known as First 3 years of Dabirestân (Dabirestân دروه اول دبیرستان), goes from the seventh to the ninth grade.

The table below shows the emphasis of studies at middle school in Iran.

6th grade 7th grade 8th grade
Persian Language and Literature 5 5 5
Maths 5 4 4
Natural Sciences 4 4 4
Religious Education 2 2 2
History 1 1 1
Geography 1 1 1
Arabic 2 2 2
Social sciences 1 1 1
Arts 2 1 1
Technical/Vocational Education 3 3 3
Foreign language - 4 4
Military service preparation (for boys only) - - 1
The Koran 2 2 2
Total: 28 30 31
Source : World Education Services, 2004 via Wikipedia

High school (Dabirestân دوره دوم دبیرستان), for which the last three years is not mandatory, is divided between theoretical, vocational/technical and manual, each program with its own specialties.

The requirement to enter into university / college is to have a High school diploma, and finally pass the national university entrance examination, Iranian University Entrance Exam (Konkur کنکور), which is the equivalent of the French baccalauréat exam.

Universities, institutes of technology, medical schools and community colleges, provide the higher education.

Higher education is sanctioned by different levels of diplomas: Fogh-e-Diplom or Kārdāni after 2 years of higher education, Kārshenāsi (also known under the name “licence”) is delivered after 4 years of higher education (Bachelor's degree). Kārshenāsi-ye Arshad is delivered after 2 more years of study (Master's degree). After which, another exam allows the candidate to pursue a doctoral program (PhD).


Iran's Educational Framework

Age Level of education (Persian) Duration US degree equivalent Remarks
5-6 Pre-primary/Kindergarten 1 year (K-12)   Optional. 50% of children at that age are enrolled in pre-primary education.
6-12 Elementary education/Dabestan 6 years (K-12)   Although elementary education is free and compulsory, full enrollment in elementary education has not yet been achieved (2004).
12-15 Lower-secondary/ First 3 Years of Dabirestan 3 years (K-12) Middle school Mandatory (6-8th grade). (Free) The aim of this level of education is to figure out the capabilities and skills of a child so that the education system could guide her or him to the most appropriate track after the end of compulsory education.
15-18 (or older) Upper-secondary/Second 3 Years Dabirestan 3 years (K-12) High school diploma(Diplom-Motevaseth) In Iran, upper-secondary education is NOT compulsory. By 2010, 80% of children aged between 14 and 17 were enrolled. Approximately 6% of upper secondary institutions are private. These schools must conform to the regulations of the Ministry of Education, though they are financed primarily through tuition fees received from students. There are three school types: the theoretical branch, the technical-vocational/professional branch, and the manual skills branch (Kar-Danesh). The latter two prepare students to directly enter the job market in the trading, agricultural, industrial professions. The Kar-Danesh track develops semi-skilled and skilled workers, foremen, and supervisors. Besides, each path has its own specialties (e.g. 'math/physics'; 'experimental sciences' or 'literature/humanities' in the case of the theoretical path). Students with High school Diploma Certificate earn the right to take the Konkur, i.e. the competitive National Entrance Examination. In 2009: ~11% were admitted (1,278,433 entrants), 60% of which were femaleStudents passing the Konkur obtain the degree equivalent of a GCE A-levels and/or International Baccalaureate.
18-20 (or older) Technical/Vocational School OR (see below) 2 years Associate Degree (Fogh-e-Diplom or Kārdāni) Students are able to study two more years in tertiary education, which provides them with the skills to become a highly skilled technician and receive an “integrated associate degree”
18-22 (or older) University (undergraduate) 4 years Bachelor degree (Kārshenāsi or Licence) Academic year: September through June. Students attend classes Saturday through Thursday. Academic term divided in 2 'semesters' and 'course credits'. Universities receive their budget money from the state, and students normally do not pay for tuition and boarding at these institutions (except for Islamic Azad University).
22-24 (or older) University (graduate) 2 years Master degree (Kārshenāsi-ye Arshad or Fogh Licence) Iran hosts some of the most prestigious universities in the Middle East such as Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran University, Sharif University, and Iran University of Science and Technology (all three rank among the top 1,000 universities of the world according to SCImago international rankings). Shiraz University, Isfahan University of Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, and Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran) are other prominent higher education institutes in the country. 
24-27/8 (or older) Doctoral program 3-4 years PhD.(Karshenasi-arshad-napayvasteh or Doctora) Students are admitted following an entrance exam. See also: Higher education in Iran. In 2012, Iran had 120,000 PhD students.  60,000 PhD students according to various alternative sources.

Source: Wikipedia. For more detail, go to its page here.

As of September 2015, 93% of the Iranian adult population was considered literate.

This rate increases to 97% among young adults (aged between 15 and 24) without any gender discrepancy.



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