The history of Afghan refugee self-governing schools
The history of Afghan refugee self-governing schools in Iran dates back to about 30 years ago. These self-governing schools were the social response of Afghan refugees, especially educated and young Afghan refugee women, to strict Iranian policies against refugees to prevent enrollment of Afghan refugee children in public schools of Iran.
Afghan refugee’s self-governing schools, formed independently of government and other formal and informal organizations and quite spontaneously in homes, mosques, basements, ranches, and poultry farms for refugee children who have been deprived of education in Iranian public schools. Since 1370 (1991), the Iranian government has imposed strict rules on the deportation of Afghan refugees. The Iranian lawmakers tried to force Afghan refugees to leave Iran by enacting laws to prevent Afghan refugee students from educating in Iran. But Afghanistan was still embroiled in a civil and ethnic war, with widespread unemployment and poverty, and many refugees were unable to return and live in Afghanistan, so many families did not leave Iran despite expelling their children from public schools.
All these factors led to the formation and expansion of the largest educational and administrative network of Afghan refugees living in Iran, without dependence on the government, parties and other governmental and non-governmental organizations, with the help of Afghan refugees themselves, especially refugee’s women.
The two main factors for success in education, mainly the motivation to learn in students and the motivation to teach in teachers are very strong in self governing schools, these two factors helped the self-governing schools find their way, remain stable and carry the heavy burden of educating thousands of refugee children despite the shortages and deficits for example the lack of basic educational facilities such as books, desks and benches, standard classrooms and even well trained teachers. In addition, Mr musavi addressed the other cultural needs of these refugee children, such as holding book reading meetings, establishing a library in each self-governing school, writing and publishing magazine and textbooks on Afghanistan and the identity of refugee children, and other cultural programs.
Professor Homa Hoodfar, who has conducted extensive and comprehensive researches on these self-governing schools and in a book, see for instance Hoodfar,