Rouhani rings back-to-school bell

September 24, 2017 - 9:40

TEHRAN — President Hassan Rouhani officially marked the beginning of 2017-18 school year by ringing the bell of a school in Tehran on Saturday.

Annually and prior to the opening of schools, which falls on the first day of the 7th Iranian calendar month of Mehr (September 23), the president raises a question dubbed “The Mehr Question” and asks students nationwide for sending replies to him.

“Here is this year’s Mehr Question: How can we turn schools into places for tolerating other people’s opinions and respecting them and how to practice to prevail morality, politeness and patience?” Rouhani said.

Outdated education system needs reform 

The education system must be reformed; Rouhani said, adding, students must have at least learnt a skill after graduating from school and it’s a job for all the teachers, authors of the school textbooks, and other officials. 

Commenting on outdated education system and old textbooks Rouhani lamented that “We should prepare the students for 12 years from now not even today, while the education system and textbooks educate students for yesterday.”

“If we consider 12 years of schooling as 12 steps for making progress it means that after taking the final step one should demonstrate a level of ability and knowledge to find a proper job and start working,” the president highlighted. 

“If we take a look at student textbooks in (13)30s and (13)40s [falling on 1950s and 60s] except for some pictures and the cover the content has not changed much,” Rouhani regretted.

The president noted that insisting on memorizing long textbooks instead of stimulating and facilitating innovation and helping student to broaden their skills is a great setback in the education system and what have hold students back. 

“If we laugh at someone’s ideas and tease them it means that we are not tolerant of others’ opinion while being tolerant and respectful of others’ opinion paves the way for creativity and help students to work up the courage to be creative and get encouraged.” 

“We must let students to ask questions and answer them patiently and if we succeed in creating such an environment at schools more skillful, creative, thoughtful, knowledgeable and interested people will be brought up,” he concluded. 

MQ/MG

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