A Comparative-Analytical Study of Reconstruction of Educational Activity According to Amendments of Commercial Law in Iran, France and the United States

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 PhD Student in Private Law, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD in Private Law - Retired Assistant Professor, University of Judicial Sciences

3 PhD in Criminal Law - Associate Professor, University of Judicial Sciences

10.22034/ijce.2020.231312.1148

Abstract

The commercialization of education in various countries of the world is on rise; however, many aspects of it are still unknown. One of the challenges is position of educational business in commercial law, especially in difficult economic situations such as downtime. The purpose of this paper is to analyze reconstruction of educational activities with an emphasis on commercial law in Iran and selected countries from a comparative perspective. Accordingly, the research method was comparative-analytical and method of data collection is documentary. Data analysis method is a descriptive-analytical approach according to Theisen, and Adams’ categories. The findings of study showed that educational business in Iran has several legal loopholes in terms of determining legal status in commercial law. The second finding reveals that there is disagreement between ministries and various organizations of Iran regarding business nature of educational activity. In this way, the various ministries disagree with each other in deciding on commercial issues - such as bankruptcy, stopping and rebuilding educational businesses - and follow different rules. In addition, the research findings show similarities and differences between Iran and France and the United States regarding to educational trade law. The common denominator of three countries is legislator's attention to continuation of business after bankruptcy with priority of main investor. The main difference is frequent referral of Iranian legislators to civil law to settle lawsuits between stakeholders. In view of these findings, it is proposed that an educational commercial law that is independent of commercial law and civil law be prepared and approved by legislators.

Keywords


Article Title [فارسی]

بررسی تطبیقی تحلیلی بازسازی فعالیت آموزشی به موجب لوایح اصلاحی قانون تجارت در ایران ، فرانسه و امریکا

Authors [فارسی]

  • شاهرخ صیادیان 1
  • محمد صقری 2
  • فرید محسنی 3
1 دانشجوی دوره دکتری حقوق خصوصی ،واحد تهران جنوب ، دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی، تهران ، ایران
2 دکترای حقوق خصوصی- استادیار بازنشسته دانشگاه علوم قضایی
3 دکترای حقوق کیفری- دانشیار دانشگاه علوم قضایی
Abstract [فارسی]

تجاری سازی آموزش در کشورهای مختلف دنیا روندی صعودی دارد با این وجود هنوز بسیاری از ابعاد آن ناشناخته مانده است. یکی از چالش ها ، جایگاه کسب وکار آموزشی در قوانین تجاری بویژه در موقعیت های دشوار اقتصادی همچون توقف فعالیت است. هدف مقاله حاضر ، تحلیل بازسازی فعالیت های آموزشی با تاکید بر قانون تجارت در ایران ، فرانسه و ایالات متحده امریکا از دیدگاه تطبیقی است. بر این اساس ، روش تحقیق ، تطبیقی تحلیلی و روش جمع آوری داده ها ، بررسی اسنادی می باشد. روش تحلیل داده ها ، رویکرد توصیفی – تحلیلی با توجه به تقسیم بندی تسین و آدامز است. یافته های تحقیق حاضر نشان می دهد که کسب وکار آموزشی در ایران از لحاظ تعیین جایگاه قانونی در حقوق تجارت دچار خلاهای قانونی متعددی است.  یافته دیگر تحقیق مبین آن است که بین وزارت خانه ها و سازمان های مختلف ایران در خصوص ماهیت فعالیت آموزشی به عنوان یک نوع تجارت اختلاف نظر وجود دارد. بدین ترتیب وزارتخانه های مختلف برای تصمیم گیری در خصوص مسائل گوناگونی همچون ورشکستگی ، توقف و بازسازی کسب و کار آموزشی با یکدیگر اختلاف نظر داشته و از قوانین متفاوتی پیروی می کنند. علاوه بر این ، یافته های تحقیق مبین شباهت ها و تفاوت هایی بین ایران با فرانسه و امریکا در خصوص حقوق تجارت آموزشی است . وجه مشترک سه کشور ، توجه قانونگذار به تداوم فعالیت کسب وکار بعد از ورشکستکی با اولویت سرمایه گذار اصلی است.  عمده ترین تفاوت در ارجاع مکرر قانون تجارت ایران به قانون مدنی- برای حل و فصل دعاوی بین افراد ذینفع –است . با عنایت به این یافته ها ، به قانونگذاران ایران تهیه و تصویب قانون تجارت آموزشی - مستقل از قانون تجارت و قانون مدنی - پیشنهاد می گردد.

Keywords [فارسی]

  • تجاری سازی آموزش
  • ورشکستگی
  • قانون تجارت
  • بازسازی
  • گروه های ذینفع
  • فرانسه
  • امریکا
  1. 1.     Introduction

The entry of private sector in the field of educational activities during last hundred years in Iran has experienced many ups and downs. Before fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in late 1970s, there were a small number of private schools and institutions for education of children and youth (Ghasemi Pouya, 2004; Jafari, 2010). After change of political regime of Iran to the Islamic Republic, Article 30 of the Constitution explicitly stated that education is free for all Iranians until end of high school. Despite four decades, this law has not changed, while growth of non-governmental schools and centers has been on the rise, with about 12 percent currently studying in private schools (slightly more than a million pupils) (Zinivand, 2019a). These students attend more than 16,000 non-governmental schools (Zinivand, 2020). However, there are no accurate statistics on private schools and centers for teaching subjects such as foreign languages, mathematics, sciences, and university entrance examination classes.

         Also, all these schools and centers are engaged in educational activities by obtaining legal licenses from the Deputy of Public Participation of the Ministry of Education (Non-Governmental Schools Support and Development Office, 2009). In this way, investors attract students by establishment of private schools or centers and through advertising and receive money from parents. In addition, according to the Deputy Minister of Education, the founders of these schools and private centers employed more than 200,000 people as teachers and employees - full or part time - to use their services and pay salaries to them (Zinivand, 2019b ). From the economic and financial point of view, it should be noted that the Non-governmental Schools Organization has announced that the tuition of these schools in Tehran and in 2019 was at least 9 million ($US415) and at most 15 million Tomans ($US692) per year and the minimum tuition in other provinces was 3 million Tomans ($US140). Therefore, if we consider the average tuition of these schools as 6 million Tomans (nearly $US280), the parents pay about 9 thousand and 660 billion Tomans (nearly $US45000000), of tuition to these schools annually (Shokrani, 2019). This huge turnover simply shows that we are dealing with an educational business that requires existence and approval of a business rules and regulations for all stakeholders. Also, like any other business, there must be certain laws about unusual situations - such as stop of activities or bankruptcy.

        Emphasizing on unusual business situation in the field of educational activities for investors in a country like Iran - which has been under constant pressure from economic sanctions over the past four decades due to political problems - is quite normal. In fact, while a non-governmental school seems to be making a huge profit for its owners, in recent years, the favorable growth of the situation of these schools has declined; in a way that some of them are on the bankruptcy line (Tehranian, 2018). In a simple estimate, many non-governmental schools have seen a decline in the number of students and dropped out of school due to high tuition fees. This has kept some non-governmental school founders in a difficult position to continue their work or close it. This is mainly because of sharp decline in income, rising costs, and especially high rent of buildings, the financial pressure on them has doubled. For this reason, in the last two decades, some founders have been forced to close schools and declare bankruptcy due to financial problems (Madandar Arani, 2014 a, b; Madandar Arani, Kakia, and Moazani, 2014; Haji Mirzaei, 2020a; Mirzadeh, 2019). Naturally, this raises fundamental questions for researchers. For example, how are issues such as bankruptcy, investor interests, stakeholder rights, and reconstruction of educational activity considered as a business activity from a legal perspective; are educational activities considered as a business in Iranian commercial law? Has a special commercial law for educational business activities been approved by the Iranian legislature, and what are experiences of other countries on issues such as reconstruction or bankruptcy of educational activities? According to this introduction, the main purpose of the present study is to analyze reconstruction of educational activities with emphasis on commercial law in Iran and selected countries from a comparative perspectives. The sub-objectives of the research are:

  • Identification and explanation of educational business activities in Iran
  • Identification and explanation of bankruptcy and reconstruction of educational business activities in the Iranian Trade Laws
  • Comparison and explanation of the bankruptcy and reconstruction of activities in Iran's Trade Laws with France and the United States

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