Iran’s education department has issued a list of hundreds of ailments which can be used to exclude teachers from working in the country’s schools.
The document covers all kinds of illnesses and conditions but some of the most controversial relate to the appearance of teachers.
Those working in classrooms should not be cross-eyed, have unsightly facial moles, severe acne or eczema, burn marks or less than 20 teeth. Women with facial hair are also banned.
Other rules relate to conditions which would usually go completely unnoticed such as female infertility or cancers, bladder stones or colour blindness.
The list was published by the semi-official FARS news agency which pointed out that applicants spend more time on medical tests than they do on training.
The agency urged the education department to be “more realistic” in its criteria.
Social media users also attacked the rules, prompting an advisor to President Hassan Rouhani to promise the list would be investigated.
درست میفرمایید. حتما پیگیری میشود و نتیجه اعلام خواهد شد.— شهیندخت مولاوردی (@mowlaverdi) August 23, 2017
One journalist pointed out that renowned physicist Stephen Hawking would have been banned from teaching in Iran
استفان هاکینگز نابغه فیزیک اگر ایران زندگی می کرد، با این محدودیتهای پزشکی اعلام شده آموزش و پرورش برای استخدام معلمان الان خانه نشین بود! pic.twitter.com/ktGLaKxUoI— Omid Memarian (@Omid_M) August 23, 2017
Others pointed out that the list of restrictions was not new and have always been discriminatory.
[Update: Following the furore, a spokesman for the education department told the Tehran-based Etemad newspaper that measures specifically targetting women would be removed and the rest of the list reviewed.]