Life in Iran TodayIran: Khamenei Turns Schools Into Seminaries

Iran: Khamenei Turns Schools Into Seminaries

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The state-run media in Iran have recently acknowledged that the authorities are intending to recruit seminary graduates to teach students in schools across the country. Observers have described this decision as turning schools into seminaries and spreading the Iranian regime’s outdated and hateful thoughts among the younger generations.

Over the past 43 years, the theocratic regime has extended its clutches over all of Iran’s social, financial, medical, political, and cultural issues. Currently, the mullahs’ plan to conquer education is forcing freedom-loving teachers and educators to resign or succumb to the situation.

Some 25,000 Graduated Mullahs Will Be Recruited

Since the mullahs took power in Iran, they began occupying schools, educational institutions, and universities, recruiting regime loyalists to take up positions in these academic offices.

Between 1980 and 1983, hundreds of professors, students, and scientists were laid off or arrested. The religious dictatorship pursued a campaign of purging dissidents, intellectuals, and supporters of political movements like the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) under the excuse of the “Cultural Revolution.”

A decade later, based on a cooperation contract between the Education Ministry and Seminaries in 1996 and by the Parliament [Majlis] enactment, the ministry was obligated to formally recruit 25,000 male and female mullahs.

In April 2021, the Education Ministry officially declared that the purpose of the contract and Majlis’s enactment was to “Islamize the schools.”

The regime’s approaches in recent years have shown that they are accelerating their efforts to inject their medieval thoughts into Iran’s educational structures by recruiting more mullahs in academic infrastructures. The Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution (SCCR) has played a crucial role in this respect.

SCCR’s Role in Recruiting Mullahs in Education Centers

Observers believe that the regime is attempting to gain its fundamental interests through such decisions. The SCCR has recently approved an enactment, tasking the Education Ministry to allocate 10 percent of its recruitments among the newly graduated mullahs to take up these academic roles in education institutions across the country.

Article 28 of the Farhangian university’s contract systematically paves the way for recruiting mullahs instead of professional and experienced teachers and educators. According to the article, principals can hire mullahs to compensate for their deficit in human resources—teachers.

The Mullahs’ Military Service in Schools

In its June 2021 directive, the Education Ministry declared that the mullahs ‘can’ serve their military service in schools. In Iran, military service is compulsory, meaning that all men above 18-year-old should spend at least two years in the armed forces or under military supervision.

However, mullahs are supposed to be exempt from conscription, but based on the latest statistics, around 2,000 mullah-soldiers are ‘serving’ in schools. The Majlis has also ordered the education department to facilitate and accelerate the mullahs’ presence in schools and pay their salaries and bonuses during these two years.

The Education Ministry has recently announced that it officially recruited 440 mullahs as teachers during the last academic year. The seminaries, however, have formally blamed the ministry for the low recruitment numbers in recent years. They stated, “We are not satisfied with this number of recruitments.”

This is while the regime and education officials have consistently rejected the pursuant demands of thousands of experienced teachers, educators, and those who have trained hundreds of students during the literacy movement, for recruitment. Officials have also denied hiring hundreds of thousands of college graduates despite their crowded rally outside the ministry and other government offices.

Seminary’s Center for Training Teachers

The regime has established a center for training mullah teachers, paving the path for mullahs to enter academic institutions and schools, with the seminaries holding more than 8,000 sessions advertising the recruitment of mullahs in schools.

Evidence has shown that the theocratic regime is intensively trying to strengthen the domination of its seminaries throughout Iran’s education system. Regarding the growing defiance of the mullahs among Iran’s young generation, this is an implicit admission to the authorities’ fear of the youths’ anti-regime activities during recent months.

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