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Iranian school year begins

TEHRAN, Sept. 23 (Mehr News Agency) -- Over 120,000 schools officially opened in Iran on Wednesday after the three-month summer holiday. The first day of school in Iran comes with its own rituals designed to help students ease into the academic year.

First-graders have it the best. The children are called shokoofeh (blossoms) and the teachers give each child a stalk of a flower and the principal calls all of the kids into rows through a microphone. Then the pupils pass under a Quran and into their new classrooms.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi struck a metal plate with a small hammer in a Tehran school, which is the signal for the academic year to begin.

However, this year citizens and officials fear the opening of schools might make it harder to fight the spread of swine flu.

Informing school and university students and other citizens about swine flu and ways to prevent it is the best way to prevent an epidemic, Vahid Dastjerdi said.

She went on to say that Health Ministry experts have held numerous meetings with Education Ministry managers and school staff members have been trained to provide pupils with the necessary information about swine flu.

She also said Health Ministry officials will visit schools to make sure the necessary workshops are held regularly.

Hopefully, all Iranian students will have a successful year at school and pass all their exams with flying colors.

... Payvand News - 09/24/09 ... --

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