JĀMEʿA-YE LISĀNSIAHĀ-YE DĀNEŠ-SARĀ-YE ʿĀLI

JĀMEʿA-YE LISĀNSIAHĀ-YE DĀNEŠ-SARĀ-YE ʿĀLI, the Association of graduates of the Teacher Training College, founded on 28 Mehr 1311/21 Oct. 1932 by its first two graduating classes, at the suggestion of ʿIsā Ṣadiq, the dean of the Teachers Training College (see EDUCATION xix) at that time. It was originally known as Jāmeʿa-ye Lisānsiahā-ye Dār-al-Moʿallemin-e ʿāli, but, after the name Dār-al-Moʿallemin was changed to Dāneš-sarā, the association changed its name too. It chose a five-point star for its emblem, symbolizing the five fields of study offered at the college.

Moḥsen Ḥaddād and Mahdi Bayāni, two of the first alumni of the college, were elected the first and second president of the association, each one serving for two years. In the third election (1936), the general assembly elected Aḥmad Birašk, one of the second group of graduates, as its president. He was twice reelected in 1938 and 1940.

In the 1942 elections, Moḥsen Haštrūdi (q.v.), an alumnus of the college and professor of mathematics at Tehran University, was elected president. Haštrūdi was succeeded by Aḥmad Mehrān in 1944, who was also among the second group of mathematics graduates. The association pursued a cordial, cooperating relationship with the Ministry of Education, and on numerous occasions the association was consulted by the ministry on questions concerning education (e.g., drawing up regulations, devising procedural provisions, etc.). In the 1946 elections, Moḥammad Deraḵšeš was elected president of the association, In 1948, Deraḵšeš founded the weekly Mehragān as the organ of the association; it was banned twice by the government during its seven years of existence.

Deraḵšeš, who was more of a politician than a teacher, however, pursued a different policy, and a rift developed between the association and the Ministry of Education. The minister of education urged a few of the old graduates, such as Moḥsen Ḥaddād and Mo ḥammad-Mahdi Rādserešt, the first president and vice-president of the association, who were unhappy with Deraḵšeš’s leadership, to undermine him by establishing a second such association. This was an unfortunate development, which would seriously damage the feeling of solidarity in the association and lead to factional discord among teachers. In an effort to remedy the situation, Birašk called on the two associations to unite and hold a new general election. Deraḵšeš welcomed the idea, but the second association did not agree to it and continued its separate existence as Jāmeʿa-ye Maʿrefat, after the name of its second president, Reżā Maʿrefat, while the first society came to be known as Jameʿa-ye Deraḵšeš. In order to centralize various activities of the members, Deraḵšeš established on 29 Bahman 1330/18 February 1952 a club called Bāšgāh-e Mehragān, which was rather a political club, and in practice he transformed the Association of Graduates into the Mehragān Club. Discord in the boards of directors of the two associations spread to other cities as well, and the teachers who were graduates of the Teacher Training College were divided into two rival factions, which hurt teachers’ interests and also had a negative effect on education in general.

During the premiership of Jaʿfar Šarif Emāmi (Šahrivar 1339-Ordibehešt 1340/September 1960-May 1961), teachers went on strike at the request of the Mehragān Club, in protest against the low scale of their pay, which was among the lowest received by government employees. This led to confrontation with security forces and the death of a teacher by the name of Ḵān-ʿAli, who was shot by police during a demonstration in front of the parliament. Šarif Emāmi resigned (Ordibehešt 1340/May 1961) and the cabinet of the new premier, ʿAli Amini, included Deraḵšeš as the minister of education. In Tir 1341/July 1962, the Cabinet of Amini fell and Deraḵšeš left the political scene, but the Mehragān Club survived. In Mordād 1341/August 1962, the minister of education, and on his request the shah, proposed to Birašk, then the deputy minister of education, to organize a new association to replace the two existing ones, but Birašk refused on the grounds that it would be detrimental to teachers’ interests and would only result in further discord among them.

In Bahman 1341/January 1963, in the course of the events that led to the so-called White Revolution (Enqelāb-e safid), the shah’s power increased and in practice any sort of assembly not officially condoned was prohibited and condemned. Without being dissolved by the government or declaring their own dissolution, the two associations of graduates of the Teacher Training College gradually diminished and eventually disappeared.

Bibliography:

Sāl-nāma-ye Dāneš-sarā-ye ʿāli (Yearbooks of Daneshsara-ye Ali), various years, and author recollections, who was directly involved in and had first-hand knowledge of the history of the Association throughout the years of its existence.

(Ahmad Birashk)

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