Iran has banned the teaching of English in primary schools, a senior education official has said, after Islamic leaders warned that early learning of the language opened the way to a western ”cultural invasion”.

”Teaching English in government and non-government primary schools in the official curriculum is against laws and regulations,” Mehdi Navdi-Adham, head of the state -run high education council, told state television

The assumption is that in primary education the groundwork for the Iranian culture of the students is laid,” he said

The teaching of English usually starts in middle school in Iran, at the ages of 12 to 14, but some primary schools below that age also have English classes.

Some children aslo attend private language institutes after their school day, while children from more privileged families attending non-government schools recieve English tuition.

Iran’s Islamic leaders have often warned about the dangers of a ”culturalinvasion”, and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, voiced outrage in 2016 over the ”teaching of the English language spreading to nursery schools”.

Khamenei, who has the final say in all state matters, said in a speech to teachers; ”That does not mean opposition to learning a foreign language, but this is the promotion of a foreign culture in the country and among children, young adults and youths.”

While there was no mention of the announcement being linked to more than a week of protests against the clerical establishment and government, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have said that the unrest was also fomented by foreign enemies

source: Guadian

News Reporter

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