An official from Khuzestan department for the eradication of illiteracy estimates that there are 230,000 illiterate people aged under 49 in the region (Fars News Agency, 15/04/2012). This equates to around a quarter of the Ahwazi Arab population. The reality is that illiteracy among Arabs is far higher than the Iranian regime is willing to admit. Although Ahwazi Arabs suffer high levels of illiteracy both in Farsi and in their native Arabic, the regime has announced that it is building 3,000 schools in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Mayor of Ahwaz City has claimed that 20% of deaths in the past two years are among children (Fars News Agency, 28/04/2012). The municipality has not announced the specific cause of high infant mortality rates in the region. Previous surveys have indicated that malnutrition affects around 50 per cent of children in Arab populated districts. Midwifery and pre-natal service provision is also woefully poor.