Friday, October 27, 2006

Islamization of Iranian schools grows

When haven't they been Islamized in the last 20 years?

~from Asia News

The new school year in Iran has started with moves to boost the Islamization of education, with the increasingly frequent application of “religious principles” on the one hand and efforts to keep students under strict control on the other, especially at university.

Teachers are not spared: as from this year, male teachers will no longer be allowed to teach in girls’ schools and vice-versa. The Education Ministry has recruited 13,000 new trained teachers as well as 4,000 who are either war veterans or members of religious minorities or religious students. And 500 teachers will be picked from students of the Quran Training Center.

As for text books, in September, Ayatollah Makarem Shiraz raised an alert at the end of a visit to the southern provinces: “Footprints of the enemies of Islam continue to appear in books of primary schools.” Among other things, he said that while there were images of veiled girls in the books of first grade students, those for the fifth grade displayed girls without the hijab.

In any case, a project is being assessed that would make studying the Quran obligatory in the last four school years. There are also plans to encourage the Passdaran Corps and other “revolutionary” bodies to open private schools, especially for preschool age and schools in the technical field, which would have a marked religious character.

As for universities, in September, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that “for the last 150 years, the educational system has been affected by secularism”. He said: “Today, students should shout at the president and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities.”

After his speech, some university students were suspended for undertaking “political activities” against the regime leaders. For example, this was the reason given for the suspension of one or two semesters of 11 students from Bou-Ali Sina University in Hamedan.

Then there is a project proposed by the head of the Security Forces of Tehran province, General Reza Zarei. This is for the setting up of a school police force that would be deployed outside but also inside school buildings.

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