The Fate of Islamization of Iran’s Educational System


Since the establishment of the Islamic republic of Iran, the ocuntry’s educational system has become the primary focus of the regime’s Islamization project. The project is aimed at the creation of devout Muslims faithful to the ideals and cultural values of the established religious order and committed to the fight against the spread of Western values in Iranian society. The philosophy, world view and objectives of this educational system present a clear break with the objectives and world view of the modern educational system that was introduced in Iran in early 20th century and developed in the Pahlavi period.

The introduction and propagation of discriminative attitudes and behavior toward women, members of non-Muslem communities in Iran and religious minorities, and promotion of a sense of hostility towards Western democratic systems and particularly towards the United States and Israel have been the prominent features of the Islamization project. School textbooks explicitly reflect a heavily shi`ite version of educational material and curricula. Furthermore, the imposition of a strict religious and propaganda environment on Iranian schools has, inevitably, subjected the students, particularly the female students to a host of restrictions and prohibitions.   

Widespread student discontent with, and resistance to, almost every feature of the Islamic oriented educational system have blocked the realization of its intended objectives. In fact, it appears that the system has only succeeded in widening the gap between the farmally declared cultural values of the state and the underground student culture. 

سعيد پيوندی*
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