Iranian culture minister supports teaching mother tongues

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Iranian culture minister supports teaching mother tongues / Society

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 11

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iranian Culture minister, Ali Jannati has supported teaching of ethnic groups' mother language in the country, Iran's ISNA news agency reported on Feb. 11.

Jannati went on to say that he supports the issue within the framework of the Iranian constitution's Article 15.

Article 15 of Iranian constitution states that the "Official language (of Iran)... is Persian...[and]... the use of regional and tribal languages in the press and mass media, as well as for teaching of their literature in schools, is allowed in addition to Persian."

The article in fact doesn't say anything about the development, protection and teaching of ethnics' languages in Iran.

On Jan. 20, Iranian media outlets quoted president's special aide for the affairs of ethnic groups and religious minorities, Ali Younesi saying Iran is preparing to launch special educational courses for different ethnic groups in the country. The government held several meetings with the country's Ministry of Education, and the issue is currently being assessed, he said.

Younesi didn't give exact details on how the teaching is planned to be carried out, or for which specific group mother tongue will be taught.

It should be noted that in June 2013, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani published a statement regarding teaching the ethnic mother tongues of Iranians (Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Arab, etc.), officially emphasizing his intention to fully implement Article 15 during his presidential campaign.

On Oct. 7, Iranian Education Minister, Ali Asghar Fani said that teaching ethnic languages at Iranian schools is a priority of the ministry.

In meeting with members of the Persian Language and Literature Academy in Jan. 27, Fani underlined that a working group has been established in the ministry to study the issue.

A majority of the Academy members seriously oppose the program on teaching ethnic languages in the schools, calling it a serious threat against the official Persian language.

Some members of the Academy also accused foreign countries including some of Iran's northern neighbours, of pressuring for teaching ethnic groups' mother languages, pursuing their own interest.

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