Iran Wants to Replace English with Russian in the Education System

Translated by Ollie Richardson


Iran plans to diversify the teaching of a second foreign language in its schools, having introduced, besides the existing English language, other languages including Russian.

Such a statement was made by the Minister of Education of Iran Mohammad Bathaei at a meeting with the head of the State Duma Committee on Education and Science Vyacheslav Nikonov that took place on April 19th in the lower house of parliament.

“The policy of the government [Iran] in the field of education is to break the monopoly of English as the second foreign and to introduce other foreign languages, in particular Russian,” said the Iranian minister.

Bathaei also said that he has discussed this issue with the head of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science Olga Vasilyeva. “Yesterday I spoke with the minister about training the corresponding teachers in this area. I hope that she will support the proposal for the creation of a working group that will prepare a memorandum of understanding on this matter and then implement it,” he said.

In return the head of the State Duma Committee on Education and Science welcomed the desire of her foreign colleagues to develop the teaching of the Russian language in Iran, having said that its existence in the educational system of the country “is indeed a very big competitive advantage for Iran”.

Speaking about teaching Farsi in Russia, Nikonov noted that it is studied at some universities, having cited as an example the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Moscow State University. At the same time the parliamentarian expressed the need to think about the introduction of teaching Farsi at schools similar to the Chinese language, which in some educational institutions is also taught as a second foreign language.

“It is necessary to think about how to make Farsi a part of our education,” concluded Nikonov.

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