People, Travel

Education in Tourism, A Fresh Mix

Education in Tourism, A Fresh MixEducation in Tourism, A Fresh Mix

With about one million cultural employees and 750,000 retirees, the ministry of education has enough capabilities to help Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) to boost tourism.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by heads of the two ministries to this effect: to help develop the country’s tourism industry, to act as a conduit in sustaining and enriching the Irano-Islamic civilization, and “transferring our heritage to new generations,” Minister of Education Ali-Asghar Fani stated, IRNA reported.

Joint development is among the policies of the ministry of education, he added.

Students between 6 and 17 are at the best age to grasp the cultural aspects of the country’s heritage. The country’s 13 million students make the ministry of education one of the most important and pertinent bodies in the country.

Workforce development is one of the ministry’s key functions, which is the key to an empowered economy. Fani referred to certain crafts that are on the verge of dying out.  “We are in a position whereby if the remaining few artisans of certain crafts pass away, the crafts and unique skills will die with them and will be lost to our heritage” the minister warned, adding that the ministry of education could contribute “by providing training opportunities for students of art schools and polytechnics or vocational schools in the necessary skills and techniques for sustaining our exquisite handicrafts.”

  Training In Crafts

As part of the MoU, the ministry has laid the foundations by training craft masters and opening new arts and crafts courses. The MoU brings the necessary synergy between ICHHTO and the ministry of education.  

“Textbooks and educational guides are important tools for transferring Iranian culture,” Fani added. There are over 40 million educational publications and 25 million textbooks published each year. “These too will help ICHHTO to attain its goals,” the official said.

“Any cultural endeavor begins with education,” the head of ICHHTO Masud Soltanifar said, welcoming the ministy of education’s collaboration, adding “any program in the country requires the cooperation of the ministry for its effective implementation.” All sectors should utilize the potentials of the ministry to further any planned initiatives, he said.

There are many similarities between the cultural activities of ICHHTO and the ministry of education, Soltanifar noted. “The MoU will enable us to take advantage of the ministry’s capabilities to introduce our cultural identity to a spectrum of people and nationalities,” he said.

There are many neglected and untapped potentials of the tourism industry; now is the time to take a fresh look at the industry in the spirit of the current government’s proactive approach, Soltanifar said.  By making the most of our available touristic capacities, including handicrafts, it is possible to attract many more tourists from around the world.

In spite of all the regional unrest, Iran enjoys calm and safety . Foreign tourists can act as promoters of Iranian thought and culture, and thus correct the misconceptions about Iran. Cooperation of ICHHTO with the ministry of education will enable the organization to find its place in the country’s cultural-economical development.

“If children learn about the value of Iranian culture, heritage, and our rich history, there will be no need to enforce laws and regulations to prevent destruction of our ancient monuments”, he added.