Religious minorities forbidden from teaching in Iranian kindergartens

"It is clear that this announcement is explicitly opposed to the laws of the country," wrote a Zoroastrian member of Iran's Parliament.

June 3, 2019 20:06
3 minute read.
Students play with Lego bricks in the Pishtaz School in Tehran October 2011

Students play with Lego bricks in the Pishtaz School in Tehran October 2011. (photo credit: REUTERS/RAHEB HOMAVANDI)


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Religious minorities are forbidden from teaching in Iranian kindergartens due to "religious values," according to Radio Farda.

The Director General of Public Relations for the Organization for the Welfare of Iran stated that the move was necessary in order to adapt the education system to "religious values."
The law applies to all kindergartens except for kindergartens for religious minorities.

The use of religious minorities for the "direct teaching of educational content approved for children" is not possible due to the adaptation of childcare activities to "religious values," said Masoud Asima to Iran's ISNA news agency, according to Radio Farda.

"Given that the educational content of the children's day care centers in general and the religious educational content are specifically developed using the principles of the Islamic religion, it is essential that these discussions be conducted in the kindergartens by trained educators," Asima explained.


Religious minorities are allowed to teach extra-curriculars, such as sports, painting and pottery, according to Radio Farda.

A Zoroastrian representative in the Iranian parliament protested in a letter to the Minister of Labor, saying that the move was discriminatory and called for its amendment, ISNA reported.

"It is clear that this announcement is explicitly opposed to the laws of the country," wrote the representative.

The representative specified Paragraph 9 of Article 3 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran which reads, "the Islamic Republic government of Iran is obliged to use all of its resources in...the elimination of all unjust forms of discrimination and the creation of just opportunities for everyone, in all spiritual and material areas," according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The letter added that head of the Organization for the Welfare of Iran has reportedly promised to "fix the problem," but that "so far, no concrete and effective action has been taken to eliminate this illegal discrimination. Therefore, it is desirable to order the revocation of this clause in a systematic and orderly manner so that we will no longer see such inhuman and immoral decision for followers of divine religions," ISNA reported.

Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians in Iran are the only recognized religious minorities in the Islamic Republic's constitution and "are free to exercise matters of personal status and religious education and they follow their own rituals," according to the constitution. 

"The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Muslims are required to treat the non-Muslim individuals with good conduct, in fairness and Islamic justice, and must respect their human rights," according to the constitution. Each religious minority has one representative in the Iranian Parliament.

Religious minorities are unable to hold high ranking positions in the government, according to Radio Farda.

The Baha'i religion is not recognized by the Islamic Republic and they are denied rights such as university studies and government jobs.

Mehdi Hajati, an Iranian city council member, was sentenced to one year in prison on Saturday for defending the rights of Baha'i people in Iran, according to Radio Farda

"In the past ten days I have knocked on many doors to get two Baha’i friends released from detention, without success. As long as we face foreign enemies, our generation has a duty to reform the judicial and other procedures that endanger social justice," the city council member tweeted in 2018.

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