In search of regulating the textbooks for schools

In the history of regulation of education in Iran, the question has always been raised that should the government be the only active actor in the compilation and publication of textbooks, or should the market be involved as well? There are experiences from both approaches. According to Morteza Dadgostar, GPTT’s senior researcher whose note on the matter was published on a national newspaper on January 13, since nearly six decades ago, the Iranian government is the main and exclusive actor in writing and publishing textbooks for schools due to a number of difficulties that had arisen in the era of “multi-authorship”: inconsistent terms and content, pricing, teachers’ training, etc.

Now “The Educational Research and Planning Organization (ERPO)” is exclusively in charge of writing, publishing, and even distrubuting the textbooks for Iranian school, although relevant laws regarding education in Iran has the capacity of reviving “multi-authorship” and getting the non-governmental actors participated.

Dadgostar suggested the enhancement to the organizational knowledge of ERPO regarding its regulatory function, holding consulting sessions with educational publishers and non-governmental institutions, implementation of pilot plans to use textbooks written by private publishers, involvement of bookstores in the distribution, and outsourcing the writing of textbooks with the function of “empowering” students and limiting the role of ERPO to writing textbooks with the function of “socializing” students.

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