National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents
|National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents|
National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents (NODET; Persian: سازمان ملی پرورش استعدادهای درخشان Sāzmān-e Melli-ye Parvareŝ-e Este'dādhā-ye Deraxŝān, or سمپاد SAMPAD) are national selective schools (middle and high school level) in Iran developed specifically for the development of exceptionally talented students. NODET was first established in 1976, then re-established in 1987.
Admission to schools
Admission to NODET schools is selective and based on a comprehensive nationwide entrance examination procedure. Every year thousands of students apply to enter the schools, from which less than 5% are chosen for the 99 middle schools and 98 high-schools within the country. Each student has chance of admission to the school only two times during his/her studies. The first chance is when he/she is at grade 5 elementary school and the second chance is when he/she is at grade 8. If the student is accepted when he/she was at grade 5 then he/she will be re-evaluated at grade 8, with others that were not successful in their first try, to ensure he/she is still qualified to pursue his/her studies further at NODET. Each entrance exam includes two tests devised to measure intelligence and talent of the participants rather than their acquired knowledge. Once students are considered competitive, they are allowed to take the first test, the result of which determines if they are allowed to take the second test. The source of questions is not pre-announced.
The style of the questions in the entrance exam varies from one exam (or one section of the exam) to another, but rather unique types of questions are included in the exams each year. There are some questions that describe a certain phenomena and a problem surrounding it, asking the student to choose from one of the four possible answers, but also describe the reason of their choice. And the evaluation of the answer wouldn't be based on the choice, but on the described reason, trying to distinguish students with higher reasoning abilities. To mention another uncommon type of question, starting with a brief introduction on a certain scientific concept that most students don't have any knowledge about, the student is given a problem with enough description to make the student be able to solve the problem through mental mathematical calculations, scientific reasoning or even their instinct, making it possible for students with different types of problem solving skills to be selected.
All applicants must have a minimum GPA of 19 (out of 20) for attending the entrance exam. In 2006 87,081 boys and 83,596 girls from 56 cities applied, and finally 6,888 students were accepted for the 2007 middle schools.
The entrance exam is very competitive in larger cities, especially in Tehran, in which 120 students are accepted after two exams and interviews, out of over 50,000 applicants.
Statistics show that NODET alumni usually pursue higher education until post-graduate level.
The manager of the organization was Hojjatoleslam Javad Ezhe'i who managed this organization from 1988 to 2009. Then Dr. Etemadi was the manager for a short time, and now, the new manager is Dr. Ghaffari. The schools for girls are named Farzanegan School and the boys' schools have different names in different cities. Some of the schools are: Shahid Beheshti High School in Kashan, Tonekabon, Sanandaj, Shahrekord, Sari, Amol, Ghaemshahr, Urmia, Bojnurd, Babol, Gorgan, Borujerd and Maragheh, Allameh Helli and Farzanegan in Tehran,Allame Helli and Farzanegan in Arak, Shahid Babaei in Qazvin, Allameh Tabatabaee in Tabriz Shahid Beheshti in Kermanshah, Shahid Madani High School (in Tabriz), like Shahid Beheshti School in Rey, Shahid Soltani School in Karaj, Shahid Haghani in Bandar Abbass, Shahid Hashemi Nejad School in Mashhad, Shahid Dastgheib High school & Farzanegan high school in Shiraz, Shahid Ejei High School in Isfahan, Shahid Madani High School (in Tabriz), Mirza Koochak Khan in Rasht, Allameh Helli in Hamedan and Shahid Sadoughi in Yazd.
The organization, which was called the National Iranian Organization for Gifted and Talented Education (NIOGATE) in English, was founded in 1976 by Dr. Iraj Broomand, with two schools. The Tehran school, at Africa Square, had 256 students in 16 classes. The Kerman location had 32 students and Hamedan location had 44 students. The original faculty were trained by a visiting group of educators from the United States.
- A Brief History of NIOGATE: An Experiment in Gifted Education in Iran. San Francisco: National Association for Gifted Children. 1979.