Jamshidieh Park-Written by Nader Musavi, 11/May/2013
This is Abulfazal, a mixed child with an Afghan father and an Iranian-Azari mother. His father is coming from a mountainous area in central Afghanistan and his Mum is from Azari people of Ardabil in the northwest of Iran, of those Azari ones who understand Farsi but cannot speak it. And here is Abulfazal mixed of these two.
Abulfazal can not attend any public schools in Iran since his Father has no Iranian identity, so he comes to this school alongside other Afghan kids.
He speaks Azari with his mum, which is why he knows Azari very well. He is polite, kind and of course a slightly sensitive child. His mother drops him at school every day and waits for him all day long in the schoolyard to pick him up. She has been doing it for two years.
Abulfazal reminds me of the character “Mohsen” in “He is late for school again” movie.
The first day after the new year holiday, he came to school with his mum as always. I saw him crying so asked him: “what is the matter?”
His mum said: “he is just upset because he hasn’t finished his holiday homework.”
I assured him that I will ask his teacher not to check their homework today, but he must make sure to finish off his work for tomorrow.
Today he had his last assessment test of grade 2. While he was doing his exam, his mum was prying in the schoolyard with other mums. That reminded me of mothers who used to pray behind the closed doors of the exam venue while their children were doing their university entrance exam.
I stepped forward and asked her: “Mrs. Akbari, are you praying for Abulfazal to pass his exam? If you’re so nervous about grade 2 assessment, what would you do when he’s supposed to take his university exams?”
She gave me a meaningful smile and said: “No! I’m just praying for his health.”
I said: “if you hadn’t married an Afghan guy, you didn’t have to suffer this much. Don’t you regret it?”
She replied with a thick Azari accent: “No! I’m not regretting it. he’s my child and I shall do whatever I can for his education and success.”
University entrance exam:
In Iran, all year 12 students who want to enter university should compete in a countrywide exam, called the University Entrance Exam.
In the Iranian educational system, students are supposed to do some allocated homework during 2 weeks of Persian new year holidays. Persian New year which is called “Nowroz” is on the 21st of March. schools and universities are closed for 2 weeks starting from the 21st of March for the purpose of new year celebration.
End of the year assessment:
Students have to pass an assessment at the end of the educational year to be able to start in higher grades next year. Any failure in this assessment may cause them to stay in the same grade for the year ahead.