Iran has banned the teaching of all foreign languages, including English and Arabic, in kindergartens and primary schools. The ban comes into effect with immediate effect, state media reported on Tuesday.
“The teaching of foreign languages is prohibited in kindergartens, pre-primary schools and primary schools, because at this age the identity of an Iranian child is formed,” said Massoud Tehrani-Farjad, an official of the Ministry of Education, according to the Irna- news agency.
Already in 2018, the Islamic Republic banned the teaching of English in primary schools, although it is offered from high school level.
“The ban on the teaching of foreign languages is not only related to English, but also other languages, including Arabic,” Tehrani-Farjad emphasized.
Persian, the only official language in Iran, has a strong Arabic influence, but also borrows from French and English.
The Ministry of Education said in June 2022 that it intends to start a trial period to start French classes in schools across the country to “eliminate the monopoly of the English language”.
In September, the government banned Iranian students or students with dual citizenship from attending international schools, saying Iranian children had an obligation to follow the country’s school curriculum.
The decision led to a sudden decrease in the number of students in some international schools in Tehran, including French and German institutions.