Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 28
By Umid Niayesh, Saeed Isayev - Trend:
Majority of members of Persian Language and Literature Academy in Iran are against President Hassan Rouhani`s program on teaching ethnic groups` mother tongue in the schools, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on Jan. 27.
The Academy of Persian Language and Literature is a body controlled by the Iranian government presiding over the use of the Persian language in Iran and other Persian speaking countries.
The Academy's main activity has been creating and approving official Persian equivalents for the foreign general or technical terms. It has also created an official orthography of the Persian language. Iranian law requires those equivalents to be used in all official communications of government bodies and government-owned companies, and in product names of all private companies.
In a meeting with Iranian education minister, Ali Asghar Fani, members of the academy expressed concern about possible teaching regional (ethnic) languages by the administration, saying that it is a serious threat against Persian language.
Teaching Iranian ethics` mother language in the school is a conspiracy to weaken the Persian language, the members of the academy said.
Salim Neysari member of the academy called the plan "very dangerous", which will lead to problems in the country.
Another member, Fathollah Mojtabai, accused foreign countries including some of Iran's northern neighbours, of pressuring for teaching ethnic groups' mother languages, pursuing their own interest.
On January 20, Iranian media outlets quoted Iranian president's special aide for the affairs of ethnic groups and religious minorities, Ali Younesi that 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 their mother tongue will be taught.
It should be noted that in June 2013, 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 of the Iranian Constitution which concerns teaching the mother tongue at schools and universities.
On October 7, Iranian Education Minister, Ali Asghar Fani said that teaching ethnic languages at Iranian schools is priority of the ministry.
He went on to note that it is time to execute the article 15 of Iran's constitution.
On the other hand, governor of Iran's East Azerbaijan Province, Esmaeil Jabbarzadeh repeated his words on establishment of the Academy of Azerbaijani language and literature in Tabriz.
He also mentioned Rouhani's promise on establishment of the academy, saying he will try to realize the promise.
Jabbarzadeh urged Azerbaijani language and literature experts to help him on the issue.
Rouhani promised to provide Iranian Azerbaijanis with an Azerbaijani language academy in Iran during his presidential campaign.