An official Iranian report says nearly 5 million grade-school students in the country of 70 million have failed to pass their end-of-year exams since 2004, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.
A report on education by Iran's Parliamentary Research Center said students' failure to pass such exams has cost the government and students' families more than $2 billion.
Said Peyvandi, a Paris-based expert on education, told Radio Farda the statistics indicate that approximately 30 percent of Iranian students failed to pass their annual exams at least once during their studies.
Iranian grade-school students must pass an exam each year to advance to the next grade.
He said that a student's family situation and the quality of teaching are the two main factors that determine whether a student is successful. Peyvandi said the educational system could and should raise teaching standards.
He said research shows that the Iranian government has failed to provide quality teaching. "Unfortunately, right now, what [the Iranian] educational system is struggling with is how to provide education for all of its students," he said.
Peyvandi also commented on Iran's IQ average. Iran currently ranks 97th among 185 countries on the "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" list. He pointed out that South Korea, which was at the bottom of that scale some 30 years ago, has risen to be among the highest in the world.
Peyvandi said this shows that IQ is "acquirable and not God-given." He added, "Unfortunately, with the present educational system [in Iran], we lack commitment and are not able to increase the creativity of the students."