Educational Accrediting Agencies and Quality Assurance in Iran
Pre-primary, primary, middle, secondary and higher educational institutions are available in Iran. Primary and secondary schools are run like non-profit organizations and both public and private schools teach the same curriculum. All of them are allowed to follow their own examination procedures for screening the best students; but they still have to be very strict. There are tribal or ethnic institutions also in the country; but tribal education is not available at the upper secondary level. To maintain the quality of education imparted at all the levels, accrediting and quality assurance authorities have been formed. Here is a glimpse of their position, roles and responsibilities.
Ministry of Education
All the public institutions are supervised by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education is entrusted with the responsibility of managing and financing the primary and secondary levels of education. And all the policies and regulations related to primary and secondary education are approved by the Supreme Council of Education. The Supreme Council of Education is recognized as the ultimate legislative body in this regard.
Further, there are Provincial Organizations and District Offices in Iran which help the Ministry of Education in carrying out their education related duties. The head of the Provincial Organization is selected by the Ministry of Education after consulting the provincial governor. As per the District Offices are concerned, they are guided by the Provincial Organizations. In fact, it is the duty of the Provincial Organization to select a director for each district office.
Ministry of Science, Research and Technology
As far as the supervision of the higher education is concerned, the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology supervises all the universities which specialize in the streams of science, art and technology. Medical schools and universities fall under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. This administration body is also responsible for the training of medical practitioners.
Technical and Vocational Training Organization (TVTO)
Further, as is already known, Iran also offers technical or vocational education to learners to enable them to hone their skills for job market. The non-formal vocational training courses are executed by the Technical and Vocational Training Organization (TVTO) under the guidance of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. In order to improve Iran’s literacy rate, Literacy Movement Organization has been formed, which also looks after the basic non-formal education of the country.
Other Educational Authorities
For specialized higher education, several ministries have been appointed to ensure the transfer of quality knowledge and training in their respective fields of specialization. These ministries are Agriculture, Industry and Petroleum. All these ministries work in close coordination with the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology in order to conduct courses and give diplomas.
There are other national bodies also, such as one for assessing and recognizing foreign credentials. This task falls under the realm of Foreign Graduate Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Higher Education. Furthermore, the major national bodies are also entrusted with the responsibility to supervise activities in the areas of international cooperation and exchanges in higher education.
A close look at the administration and management of education in Iran reveals that all the responsible authorities strictly control and supervise the training and knowledge that is received by the students.