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World's smallest school in Iran

Source: Press TV



The road to Iran's tiny Kalou village is being laid in honor of its elementary school, now recognized by UNESCO as the world's smallest.

Kalou is a tiny village situated 180 kilometers from Bushehr in the south of Iran; its population is made up of 34 people - seven families.

Kalou's school has four students; two boys and two girls, taught by their enthusiastic teacher Abdol-Mohammad Sha'raani. He put his plans for further education on hold to teach in this village.

It was Sha'raani who introduced the school to the world through his Web-log. Now the school is internationally recognized.

When asked how the school was introduced to UNESCO, Sha'raani said an Iranian friend living in Australia created an English version of his blog for him. Soon after, a reader sent a link to UNESCO which then recognized the school as the smallest in the world.

"There may be smaller schools with fewer students in the world," says Sha'raani, "but the advantage my school has is that I have introduced it to the world through my web-log."


The arrival of a mysterious package containing chocolates and a card all the way from California shows the little school has definitely managed to touch hearts worldwide. The gift gave Sha'raani the chance to talk about people of other cultures with his students, who promptly wrote a thank-you letter to their fan from afar.


Sha'raani is very proud of his charges, Parisa, Mahdi, Hamideh and and Hossein who study together at the same time, although they are in different grades. Though challenging, Sha'raani says he manages to keep them all occupied at once, with various activities he has designed.

With adult education centers opening in even the most remote areas of Iran, village mothers and fathers are also improving their education.


When Hamideh, Mahdi's older sister, is asked if she helps her brother with his homework, she says that she does not know whether to do her own homework, help her brother, or give her mother a dictation when she gets home from school.

The students have one computer among them, donated by the head of the area's ministry of education. Mr. Abedi sent it to them after seeing pictures of their wish lists, one of which was a computer. They have access to the internet and Sha'raani tries to incorporate computer studies into the curriculum.


An Iranian director, Daryoush Gharibzadeh, has made a short documentary about the Kalou village elementary school.

Gharibzadeh's short film Boomerang is to compete at Canada's 2008 Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival. Boomerang won a Crystal Simorgh (Phoenix) for the best short film at the 26th Fajr International Film Festival.





World's Smallest School (blog)

Read interview with the teacher (in Persian, Deutsche Welle)


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