Danesh-Ashtiani criticized for participation in post-2009 election unrest

TEHRAN, Nov. 01 (MNA) – Parliament has convened to vote President Rouhani’s nominations for his three ministries; Ministry of Education is the first to provide plans.

On Tuesday, Mr. Rouhani came early to Parliament open session to provide the representatives with a sketch of his nominations where he briefly introduced all three nominees. Parliament Speaker Mr. Larijani oversees the debates of representatives for or against Mr.  Fakhruddin Ahmadi Danesh-Ashtiani, who had been rejected by the 9th Parliament for his alleged links to a Reformist presidential candidate, Mostafa Moein and participation in the ensuing street unrest of 2009.

A representative of Hope Faction of the Parliament (Reformist-Moderates) believed that Mr. Danesh-Ashtiani’s family background would make him a good candidate. Abolfazl Soroush, of Tehran constituency, told the Parliament that the structural reforms should address the current problems of the Ministry of Education, and the minister in person would achieve no significant outcomes; “The current performance of the Ministry is far from optimal and would not make crucial changes to the provisions of the Document of Fundamental Changes in the Education; the system fosters an educational culture of memorizing facts; this should be the subject of any real reform; a second problem is intense centralization where individual schools are restricted in a straight-jacket of the districts supervising all issues of the school,” he emphasized.

Assadollah Abbasi spoke against the nomination; he based his criticism of Rouhani’s nomination on the ‘disorganized situation where teachers are employed not in their own specialties, but they teach in other classes they would not fit the teaching material and/or the grade.’

“The scarcity of teachers is serious and in public schools, the issue surfaces in a more blatant form; on the corruption of the Teachers Fund, our critics have yet remained unanswered where billions of the teachers’ money had been stolen; the public as well as the representatives would be happy to hear from Mr. President, but no enlightenment came; Mr. Danesh-Ashtiani’s plans fail to address these problems and would not be implemented in mere 9 months of the government; his plans also fails to address the critical issue of dignity of the retired teachers where there has been a perennial issue of payments which had not been made to the superannuated,” Abbasi asserted.

A second representative speaking against the nomination was Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, of western province of Kermanshah; his criticism was mainly targeting Danesh-Ashtiani’s career in office and politics. He believed that Mr. Danesh-Ashtiani had not had a record of service in the Ministry, but had been a prominent figure in university settings; “he has been director of some of the private schools where the wealthy elites sent their children and where wealth determines social status and where only the patricians of the higher strata of social fabric were allowed to participate,” he told the Parliament session, “public schools are not addressed in your plans; a second criticism is your participation in 2009 street unrest, and in calls for the public on boycotting elections; Mr. President should pick a figure with affinities to the sufferings of the educational sector and a figure eager to address huge problems of the education,” he told the meeting.

SH/3812001/3812012/3812064

News Code 120984

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