Currently, children as young as seven are forced to participate in mourning ceremonies, write essays about their “adoration” for the dead Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, and put on plays about regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini’s return to Iran.
Jafar Ibrahimi, a member of Tehran Teachers’ Association, who was released on bail from the notorious Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj on January 26, said that when he got to school, he asked his students why they were waiting outside and they told him that those inside the classroom were “beating their chests in mourning”.
Ibrahimi, who was arrested on December 26 for participating in a ceremony to mourn the over 1,500 protesters killed by security forces during the November uprising, also said that the school refused to register some boys because their hair was too long.
The uprisings of January 2020 and November 2019, and continuous riots throughout the country are major signs of conflict between the regime and the people. The massacre of 1,500 protesters in November 2019, is the foremost indication of a fierce confrontation, and it reflects the horrors of the regime. Both factors also point to Tehran’s illegitimacy on the international stage.
The regime’s “religious revolutionary ideology” appears to take over Iranian schooling, from assemblies to textbooks to playtime. Iranian schools contain three times the world’s average ideological and political material.
Regime-affiliated university professor and education expert Saied Peivandi said: “While on average about eight percent of school time is devoted to religious issues in the world, in Iran (religious classes) officially take up close to 16% of school time. This figure is actually closer to 25% (when considering religious and political programs in the curriculum which are carried out outside of the classroom).”
Iran’s education system is now so poor that even those loyal to the regime are criticizing the effect it has on children.
Iranian Society of Sociology head Rahim Mohammadi said children are “disillusioned” with the way the Quran is taught at schools and that this “failure” of religious education is that it is combined with politics and ideology.
While Nematollah Fazeli, a sociology professor at Tehran’s Allameh Tabataba’i University, said: “The most important ailment of our education system is that it’s ideological and all other ailments are because of that.”
However, the regime’s brainwashing has failed, because students and young people were actually the most active participants during the November uprising, even though the regime has tried to brainwash them their entire lives. They are the main opponents of the regime, chanting for the downfall of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, a man they were told to adore.