January 15, 2021
Thirty separate education programs covering such topics as “chastity” and the hijab have been prepared for schools in Iran, according to the Ministry of Education.
Speaking at a cultural event promoting piety on January 13, deputy minister Alireza Kazemi confirmed: “Bad veiling and a lack of hijab, and the wider neglect of this issue, will cause students to deviate from the correct path. For this reason, special attention should be paid to this matter.
“Education providers have designed a package of 30 programs and a roadmap for teaching the subjects of hijab and chastity [in schools].” All in all, he said, there were 11 officially-sanctioned textbooks and 27 mandatory lessons on the new curriculum.
The deputy minister of education also stressed that more attention should be paid to the promotion of religious beliefs in the classroom. It comes despite complaints from teachers’ unions in recent years that ideology is unacceptably clouding education in Iran.
The teaching of Shia Islamic doctrine and religious conservatism has been a feature of Iranian schools ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The annual cost of these education packages remains an unknown quantity, as does the extent to which it has eaten into the teaching of other, more practical subjects.
The Education Ministry has also historically tried to control teachers’ and students’ comportment and beliefs through the tactical positioning of deputies for education, and the establishment of the Student Basij, as well as sending clerics and political “guides” into schools.