An Iranian author has donated his huge cash prize to the training of Sunni teachers at elementary schools in the underdeveloped province of Sistan and Baluchestan in south-eastern Iran.
Reza Amirkhani received the literary prize for a novel he had written. The cash prize is worth one billion rials (roughly $10,000). He donated the prize to the Danayar Research Institute which is tasked with training Sunni elementary school teachers in Sistan and Baluchestan.
“Based on the indicators of sustainable development, training, especially at the pre-elementary and elementary levels, is definitely the bedrock of growth in every country,” says the writer.
“That is why Danayar institute decided to start its work from the Sib and Suran region in Sistan and Baluchestan to train and hone the skills of teachers at elementary and pre-elementary levels,” Amirkhani added.
“Accordingly, the necessary arrangements were made with the provincial education department. In this phase, all of the teachers trained at Danayar institute are local Sunnis,” he added.
Sistan and Baluchestan is the second largest province in Iran with an area of 180,726 km² and a population of 2.5 million.
The population comprises the Sunni Balochs who form a majority in the province, followed by the relatively large minority, the Sistani Persians.
The province today is the most underdeveloped, desolate, and poorest of Iran’s provinces. The Iranian government has long been trying to reverse this situation by implementing new plans such as creating the Chabahar Free Trade-Industrial Zone.