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Iran bans teaching foreign languages to kids

Iran bans teaching foreign languages to kids
Published October 17, 2023 Updated October 17, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

TEHRAN — Iran has banned the teaching of all foreign languages, including English and Arabic, in kindergartens and primary schools, with immediate effect, state media reported on Tuesday (Oct 17).

“The teaching of foreign languages is prohibited in kindergartens, nursery schools and primary schools, because at this age, the Iranian identity of the child is being formed,” said Mr Massoud Tehrani-Farjad, an education ministry official, according to IRNA news agency.

The Islamic Republic had already banned the teaching of English in primary schools in 2018, although it is taught from secondary school onwards.

“The ban on the teaching of foreign languages does not only concern English, but also other languages, including Arabic,” underlined Mr Tehrani-Farjad.

Persian, the only official language in Iran, is strongly influenced by Arabic but also borrows from French and English.

The ministry of education had in June 2022 signaled its plan to begin a “trial to teach French” in schools across the country to “eliminate the monopoly of the English language”.

In September, the government banned Iranian or dual-national students from attending international schools, saying Iranian children had an obligation to follow the country’s school curriculum.

The decision led to a sudden drop in the number of students in some international schools in Tehran, including French and German institutions. AFP