Educator Outlines Role, Impact of Youth Identity

Educator Outlines Role, Impact of Youth IdentityEducator Outlines Role, Impact of Youth Identity

A nation that seeks to achieve sustainable development must pay special attention “to how it is shaping the identity of its teenagers and the youth,” said Esfandiar Chaharband, director general of the Tehran Education Department, on the sidelines of the ‘Fourth National Festival of Healthy Teen’, in Tehran.

Organized by the Ministry of Education at the Sacred Defense Garden Museum (the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war is referred to as Sacred Defense in Iran), the goal of the festival was to draw attention to and promote healthy lifestyles among school students.

The current young generation “is Iranian by birth and physically residing in the country, but adopting western lifestyles and patterns endorsed outside the national borders,” he maintained.

Iranian-Islamic identity should be developed in each person so that they can contribute more effectively to national development and growth.

Although adolescence describes teenage years between 13 and 19, usually referred to as the transitional stage from childhood to adulthood, the physical and psychological changes that occur can start earlier during the preteen years (ages 9 -12).

Adolescence can be a time of both disorientation and discovery. The transitional period can trigger issues of independence and self-identity; many adolescents and their peers find themselves struggling with tough choices regarding schoolwork, drugs, and social life. Peer groups, personal interests and external appearance tend to influence a teen’s path to adulthood.

“The Fundamental Reform Bill in Education recommends a six-pronged strategy with focus on religion and ethics, society and politics, mental and physical growth, aesthetics and arts, economy and professionalism, and science and technology. All Iranians must develop intellectually on Islamic-Iranian values,” he stressed.

Following western culture and lifestyles will pose risks to Iranian tradition and culture, and contribute to social harm, he noted.

In his message on the occasion, Education Minister Ali Asghar Fani said, “Adolescence is the golden period of life when finding one’s identity is possible by acquiring knowledge, skills, healthy lifestyles, and self-care. That is why this age group must be fully aware of and protect themselves against the risks that threaten them.”

Fani called for a collective pledge to spread the message of the festival and publicize the fight against drug abuse to help protect the youth who are vulnerable to social harm.

The annual festival is held in September, and comprises sections such as articles (writing or translation), photography, short films (documentaries, animation, and video clip) on preventing drug addiction and abuse, violence, and risky behavior among youngsters.