Mehran School was founded in 1955 as an elementary school by Masumeh Sohran and Yahya Mafi. This elementary school itself was an outgrowth of Mehr kindergarten which they had founded in 1953. They directed Mehran School up to 1979. It was then confiscated by the revolutionary authorities and was put under the direct auspicious of Department of Education.
During those 25 years, Mehran School constantly expanded and developed and was one of the outstanding educational institutions in Iran. The founders of Mehran School had a different understanding of the basics of an educational system from those prevalent in the Department of the Education which was to reproduce and inculcate the ruling ideology. The educational principles they believed in was nothing other than bringing up freethinking and creative individuals capable of critical thinking. Responsible human beings with a sense of cooperation .This required the founders themselves to see human history as the rise of new ideas and new thinking.
This also required the whole staff to be handpicked very. From the very first, those who were co-opted were directed exactly as to what they were doing and where they should be heading. The founders aspired to mix youth with experience. Thus they were constantly training new teachers.
Another principle they observed diligently was the school educational space. In a country where schools are still mostly operating in residential buildings, this founding couple built one of the first buildings designed for a school with suitable well-lit classrooms, cafeteria, library, movies and theater halls.
Most important of all though was the effort that was put in constantly revising the school Math, Science and Arts curriculum. The underlying principle of all their effort was to teach the priority of cooperation over competition. The students were emboldened to ask questions; something very much looked down upon culturally. Parents were encouraged to get involved in the educational process of their loved ones. There were many creative arts programs from playing music to painting and putting on plays all of which would be under the leadership of first rate and popular artists. Mehran library was the best among all educational libraries. It had more than 11,000 books, mostly donated by the parents and was run by the students themselves.
The students were taught to be environmentally concerned, for instance not to waste paper and their notebooks.
Most of the students were from the middle class, more or less dictated by the location of the school, but there were always spaces kept for tuition-free children from the lower classes.
Most important of all was the excellent personal relations Mafi’s kept with each and every student at the school. They had monthly (first Monday evenings) and annual (October 23rd) open houses when many students and graduates of the school would drop by, often together with their own children to visit their beloved school principals in an informal atmosphere. Mehran School students all felt part of a huge loving family with Mr. and Mrs. Mafi at the helm.