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Education Reforms Should Foster Tolerance, Creativity

The national curriculum should be modified to include more relevant and practical courses so a more skilled workforce can be trained to fulfill the requirements of the job market
President Hassan Rouhani attends a ceremony in a Tehran school on Sept. 23 to ring in the new academic year. President Hassan Rouhani attends a ceremony in a Tehran school on Sept. 23 to ring in the new academic year.

President Hassan Rouhani stressed the need for education reforms to turn educational institutions into a platform for promoting a culture of tolerance, diversity, creativity and ethics.

"All the teachers, education authorities, authors of textbooks and other officials share the responsibility of reforming the educational system," Rouhani said in a speech at a ceremony held in a Tehran school on Saturday to ring in the new academic year, his official website reported.

"In order to create an open, prosperous society, the sense of tolerance for different and opposing opinions should be fostered among the people from as early as the school years," he said.

"Schools and other educational centers need to serve as an environment where different opinions and views are equally welcomed, so we can train the youth to be more efficiently at the service of the country's development."

The president noted that the tolerance of opposing views is one of the main conditions for the creation of an environment conducive to nurturing creative minds.

"If the school is open to students' different responses, they will find courage to express their creativity and principles of ethics and mutual respect will dominate the school environment," he said.

Rouhani called for modifying the national curriculum to include more relevant and practical courses so a more skilled workforce can be trained to fulfill the requirements of the job market.

"Unfortunately, our textbooks are focused on stimulating memorization rather than encouraging creativity and skill acquisition. The student … needs to become skilled in at least one field by the time they graduate," he said, adding that this is what he had in mind when picking his education minister, Mohammad Bat'haei.

Rouhani was reelected in a landslide in May for a second four-year term. He pointed to the increasingly important role of social networks in people's lives and called for educational reforms to instill a culture of tolerance among Internet users and promote a proper code of conduct in cyberspace.

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