Iran has banned English from being taught in primary schools after the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said learning the language in the early years paved the way for a Western “cultural invasion”.
A senior education official announced the language had been banned because the Iranian culture of students is established during primary level education.
In Iran, where Persian is the country’s official national language, primary school starts at the age of six and lasts for six years.
While the teaching of English generally starts in middle school in Iran – which students attend around the ages of 12 to 14 – some primary schools below that age also have English classes.
“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, said on state television late on Saturday.
He continued: “This is because the assumption is that, in primary education, the groundwork for the Iranian culture of the students is laid”.