The Iranian president has officially opened the new school year while urging all to keep observing health protocols amid the coronavirus outbreak.
President Hassan Rouhani said education and health are not mutually exclusive as academic activities should go on while measures are adopted to protected people’s health.
“As we have proved in previous months, the dichotomy between livelihood and life, and health and religiosity is an inappropriate one. Likewise, we will prove with the cooperation of all families, students and respected teachers that the dichotomy between health and education is inappropriate, too,” Rouhani added.
President Rouhani said education will not shut down even under the most difficult circumstances.
He urged teachers to present academic material briefly and in the shortest possible time as education is currently taking place amid the coronavirus outbreak and health protocols should be observed at the same time.
In comments made later in the day in a meeting of the National Coronavirus Headquarters, the president defended the government’s plan to reopen schools while observing health protocols.
Rouhani said that students have stayed home for around seven months now, and keeping children at home for too long could lead to depression and mental problems.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the significance of the status of schools.
President Rouhani said going to school will bring joy and dynamism to students. However, he added, social distancing measures and other health protocols should be observed all along.
“Protecting people’s health is the top priority; however, while all health directives are observed, all essential activities in society should go on as well,” he stressed.
The president said education does not only include learning academic material; rather, he noted, it includes learning social discipline and life skills as well, which can only take place during students’ physical presence in educational settings.