Iran altering education system to get rid of Western influence

Posted By: Nairita Das
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Tehran, Jan 2 (ANI): Iran is making changes by putting in Islamic values in its education system to reportedly get rid of Western influence.

The Washington Post quoted Education Ministry officials as saying that from September onwards, all Iranian high school students would be introduced to new courses such as "political training" and "living skills" that will warn against "perverted political movements" and encourage girls to marry at an early age.

In universities, the curricula of law, psychology, sociology and other studies would reportedly be altered, with officials from the Science Ministry, which has the responsibility for higher education, working to strip out what they describe as Western theories and replace them with Islamic ones.

The Education Ministry's plan, titled "The Program for Fundamental Evolution in Education and Training," envisages schools becoming "neighborhood cultural bases" where teachers will provide "life" guidance, assisted by selected clerics and members of the paramilitary Basij force.

"There will be official training and on-site cultural education and an emphasis on sports, reading books and the Koran," Education Minister Hamid-Reza Haji-Babaei said in May.

Dozens of professors have already retired or been fired on the grounds that they did not sufficiently support the new policy, the paper said.

The changes are also aimed at minimising the growing influence of a middle class that increasingly embraces individualism and shares modern aspirations.

Iran's leaders partly blame contamination of the country's education system, which in the early years of the 1979 Islamic revolution was shaped by clerics and ideologues, for spreading such "Western" ideas.

Many students, professors and parents fear that the plans will undermine Iran's traditionally high academic standards. (ANI)

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