Iran bans teaching English in primary schools over alleged ‘cultural invasion’

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Iranian government has banned the teaching of English in the country’s primary schools claiming learning the language opened the way to a Western ‘cultural invasion’.

Head of the state-run High Education Council, Mehdi Navid-Adham revealed this development.

Navid-Adham said: ‘Teaching English in government and non-government primary schools in the official curriculum is against laws and regulations.

‘This is because the assumption is that, in primary education, the groundwork for the Iranian culture of the students is laid.’

The teaching of English usually starts between the ages of 12 to 14 but some primary schools below that age also hold language classes.

Iran’s Islamic leaders have often warned about the dangers of a ‘cultural invasion’ and 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 at the time: ‘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.’

‘Western thinkers have time and again said that instead of colonialist expansionism the best and the least costly way would have been inculcation of thought and culture to the younger generation of countries.’

It comes after a week of protests against the Iranian government in which 22 people have been killed and more than 1,000 arrested.

The demonstrations spread to more than 80 cities and rural towns as thousands of young and working-class Iranians expressed their anger at graft, unemployment and a deepening gap between rich and poor.

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