Three more teachers have been arrested in Iran, two in the capital Tehran and the other in Sanandaj, according to reports. One of the arrested teachers was a member of the executive committee of the Iranian teachers union, Mohammad-Reza Niknejad, the others were teacher activists. It appears that the government is trying to put a stop to a continuation of teachers protests in the country as the new school year begins.

As we have been reporting throughout the year, teachers in Iran have been demonstrating against the parlous state of education in the country, the lack of basic materials and their own poverty pay. They are also protesting discrimatory evaluation systems as well as the increasing privatisation and commercialisation of education. Iranian teachers earn as little as $100 a month, scarcely enough to keep body and soul together. They have kept up their protests despite continuing harrassment, threats and repression by security forces. Many have been arrested, including the General Secretary of the teachers union Ismail Abdi, who has been in jail since June of this year.

In one province, Khuzestan, there is a shortage of 7,000 teachers and reports say a further 7,000 are threatening to leave their jobs because of poverty pay and the fact that the government is not listening to them, despite their protests.

With these latest arrests as well as the complete failure of the government to listen to any of the teachers demands for public education, it is important that teachers globally draw attention to the situation for their Iranian colleagues.