Iran has banned the teaching of all foreign languages, including English and Arabic, in kindergartens and primary schools, with immediate effect, state media reported Tuesday.
“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 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 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.
Source: Arab News