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Proposal on Mandatory  Premarital Education
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Proposal on Mandatory Premarital Education

The Office for Youths Affairs at the Ministry of Sports and Youths Affairs has proposed that marriage and relationship education (MRE) should be made mandatory for couples getting married to help lay the foundations for a successful and healthy marital life.
“The office has prepared and finalized a national plan for premarital education, and has presented it to the judiciary for review,” said deputy minister Mohammadreza Rostami at the 62nd administrative meeting session of the office, ILNA reported.
The session was attended by representatives from executive bodies in the field of youth affairs.
The divorce to marriage ratio in the country was 15.4%, 16.3%, 18.1%, 20.1%, and 22.6% in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. Currently, divorce rates hover around 25%, or one in every four marriages. The fact that most divorces happen within the first five years of marriage, signifies a clear lack of understanding and compatibility between couples or the expectations before starting a shared life.
But premarital education can help. Global research shows that premarital preparation courses can help reduce the likelihood of divorce by 30%. Despite these compelling statistics, most people are resistant and too often couples view it as a tedious chore, rather than a privilege.
Premarital preparation is one of the most powerful tools for ensuring that relationships and love between couples last throughout a lifetime as studies have found that MRE can increase communication and reduce marital discord and conflict.

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Stressing the significance of mandatory pre as well as post-marital education, Rostami said personal, social, and economic skills have also been incorporated into the national scheme.
Premarital counseling and education can provide a chance to enhance individuals’ core relationship skills through offering an opportunity to assess potential conflict areas stemming from different views on a myriad of subjects, better understand how personality and family history can influence a relationship, strengthen communication and conflict resolution skills, and openly discuss views on family, infidelity and divorce.
Once approved and implemented, around 750,000 couples who tie the knot every year will be covered under the project, which also seeks to include married couples wanting counseling.
“The educational protocol of the plan will be assessed by the ministry’s Office of Marriage and Family Excellence, and revised if necessary, and will be practiced at the counseling centers authorized by the Psychology and Counseling Organization of Iran operating across the country.
The plan will be presented to the government after being reviewed by the Judiciary. After government approval, it will be introduced in the Majlis to become law.
Rostami expected it to be put into effect by the end of the current calendar year in March 2017.
“We are not trying to pry into people’s lives or violate their privacy,” he said, underling that premarital education would reduce the staggering divorce rates.
At present, couples getting married receive 16 hours of counseling prior to marriage. The classes are held before marriage and the certificate for attending them is one of the legal requirements of marriage in Iran. The counseling program which is mandatory was introduced in 1993.

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