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International

Iran bans the teaching of English in primary schools, official says

11:25, Monday, 08 January, 2018
Iran bans the teaching of English in primary schools, official says

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 Navid-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 also attend private language institutes after their school day, while children from more privileged families attending non-government schools receive English tuition.

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

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