In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth
You are very welcome dear brothers, dear sisters and you honorable and esteemed group of people. I would like to congratulate all you dear participants – the honorable officials of the educational system, the dear teachers, the dear personnel and the esteemed Minister of Education – and all teachers throughout the country on Teachers’ Day and Week.
In my opinion, this meeting is significant in a number of ways: one is that it is about our most important civilizational matter which is education. Another reason is that Teachers’ Day is basically marked with the name of martyrs and martyrdom. And there are different other reasons which I will draw on during my speech. Our dear martyr, the late Mr. Motahhari (may God bestow paradise on him) was a sympathetic teacher in the true sense of the word. He would think well, speak well and pursue matters well. He did not speak just for the sake of fulfilling a duty. We used to see him up close, how sympathetically he would try to instill deep Islamic thoughts in the minds of the youths of those days – despite all the restrictions that existed. And he was martyred for that. This is the important point. That martyrdom was the definitive signature of Allah the Exalted on the report card of that dear martyr.
Well, teachers are really an honorable and esteemed group of people. The reason is that human resources are the most important resource of every country, every civilization and every nation. If you have money without good and efficient human resources, you will get nowhere, like many of these rich countries that you see around you. Notice how they spend their money and what kind of people have access to it. Their big and money-filled pockets are shamelessly made available to treacherous hands against humanity. How has this happened? This is because they have money, but they do not have manpower. They have money, but they do not have thinkers and human resources. Their human resources are poor. If we have many underground resources without human resources and this will be of no avail.
Our country used to sleep on a sea of oil, but we did not know of it, nor did we know how to use it. What was the result? The result was that those who knew about it and who knew how to utilize it dominated our oil resources. They used to take away our oil to build their own civilization, set up their own factories and benefit from it to ensure their victory in the war that had broken out in those days. And they used to give us very little out of that source. This was how things were during the time of taghut. This is the result of not investing in human resources.
Well, you are producing these human resources in the present time. Notice how significant your work is. You are cultivating and preparing human resources. I am not interested in complimenting others for no good reason. What I have been saying, in the course of the past years, about the role of teachers and students or the role of teachers and the educational system originates from this sentiment. It originates from the belief that teachers have such a role. In fact, you are the founders of the new civilization. This is because without efficient manpower, there will be no civilization. You are warriors in a battle against ignorance and illiteracy. Notice that you bring children and teenagers from the land of illiteracy and darkness to the land of light and knowledge and you do so by fighting. This is a difficult job.
You are actually creating cultural identity. Creating identity is very important. It is very important to create identity in a society. Humans should have a sense of identity. Our identity lies in our culture, our knowledge and our lifestyle. Civilization depends on culture. If there is a lack of strong and rich culture, there will be no civilization in the common and ordinary sense of the word. What is culture? It means all the elements which constitute one’s thinking and action. This is what culture is. Where does it come from? Culture depends on thinking, on intellect and on a worldview: in other words, the way we interpret the world, the universe, existence and the like. This is the main basis of culture and the main basis of civilization.
My dear ones, pay attention: in particular, the dear and honorable officials who are present should pay careful attention. This is where the significance of the 2030 Education Agenda becomes clear. The main gist and kernel of the 2030 Education Agenda, which has an important chapter about education, is that the educational system should teach the lifestyle and the philosophy of life to children on the basis of western principles. This is the gist of the 2030 Education Agenda. What does this signify? It signifies that you pious people, you who are interested in your country and your future – should build soldiers for the west in your classroom [In response to the slogans that the audience chants, the Supreme Leader says, “This is the place to listen, not to chant slogans, please pay attention]!
When they place so much emphasis on the Education Agenda and when they explicitly and implicitly try to impose it on other countries – including our country – this is what it means. The instructions, recommendations and main points of this agenda specify that the educational system should shape students’ thought system in a way that their philosophy and concept of life will be molded according to the western philosophy. As I mentioned, they want you to build soldiers for England, France, the US and the rest of those tie-wearing, perfumed, shallow savages. They are the same people who kill others and who assist assassins without a frown on their faces.
When they ask them why they help the Saudis, they answer, “We help them because we need their money.” They know what the Saudis are doing in Yemen, but they are helping them anyway! They want to sit and watch us in Iran and in Asian countries – West Asian, Islamic and other such countries – build soldiers, advocates and subjects for them. This is what the 2030 Education Agenda is all about.
A point which should definitely receive attention is that the society of teachers – teachers and cultural employees – have accomplished great feats in the past 40 years of the Revolution. They have carried out fruitful tasks. You should pay careful attention. There are some individuals who wish to portray the educational system as invaluable for different political reasons. This is unfair and it is untrue. Of course, I am aware of the existing shortcomings in the educational system. I am aware of the gap between the current educational system and the ideal one, but I am also aware of the gap between the current educational system and the despicable one that existed before the Revolution.
In the time of the Revolution – during the past 40 years – the educational system has accomplished great feats. The various scientists who helped your country to be among the first five countries in the world in the area of nanotechnology were cultivated in the educational system. The third and fourth generations of the Revolution who have neither seen Imam, our well-known martyrs nor the eight-year Defense Era stand firm and powerful in the face of the enemy in the present time. They insist on defending the holy shrines of the Imams and they manage to do so. One is martyred, but ten of them return safe. The motivation to do jihad is not a minor achievement. Who has educated them? The educational system. And it has done so in such a world. That you build youth like this in the world of the internet, in the world of different moral perversions and in the world of satellite, this is a magnificent accomplishment!
Who has organized these jihadi camps? What kind of individuals participate in them? It is youth who participate in them. It is the educational system which has educated them. So many scientific breakthroughs have been made in the country and there are so many symbols and signs of true piety in society. I have said many times that today’s youth live with the Holy Quran, with Dua Nudbah, with the month of Ramadan, with tears, supplication and reliance on God and by marching on foot to Karbala and the like.
Before the Revolution, when did these ideas exist? We have so many student martyrs. We have several thousand student martyrs. We have a large number of martyred teachers. Who educated those martyred students? It was teachers who did so. It was our educational system that did so. You should not underestimate the post-revolutionary educational system. It has done a lot in different eras.
Of course, shortcomings exist. As I mentioned, there are many shortcomings and flaws. We are working hard and by Allah’s favor and grace, we will eliminate these shortcomings and flaws. We will reach the ideal point regarding the educational system, God willing. The nation will reach that point. When I say that “we” will do so, I do not mean this humble person and other such individuals because we are no ones. When I say, “we”, I mean that this nation, this group of people and this system will help the educational system reach the desired level.
Notice that this is the ideal point that we want to reach: the educational system should cultivate individuals who are wise, capable, intellectual, pious, religious, moral, efficient, creative, courageous and active. They should not be afraid of the enemy and of threats and they should not be stagnant and negligent. You should educate such individuals. If this happens, then our country will reach the point that I mentioned and promised. And by Allah’s favor, it will reach that point. In a few decades – on that day, I said that in 50 years – we will have reached a point where everyone who wishes to have access to new scientific borders will have to learn Farsi. Cultivating such individuals and such youth is the main pillar for the future respectable Iran. This is the main pillar for the new Islamic civilization.
Now, I would like to offer some recommendations. The first recommendation is about the transformation plan on which the honorable Minister [of Education] delivered a report. I received a written report on this matter as well. My dear ones, the transformation plan is like building a railway. The transformation plan can help the educational system reach the desired destination. We should do something to make this happen. Well, they said that they have issued a formal notice to organizations in charge. This is true, but issuing a notice is not enough. This is merely the first step.
We must do something to implement this plan. Last year, I said that you should do something to make the body of the educational system read, understand and digest this plan so much so that they realize what you want to do in the educational system. The plan is a very good one, but it requires follow-up and work. The first thing that is necessary – it is actually the main need for this movement – is having a revolutionary spirit.
God will not forgive those individuals who try to weaken the revolutionary spirit in our people and our youth with their pens and with their words! The Revolution was achieved thanks to the lives that were laid down on this path. It was the Revolution that managed to liberate the country from the scourge of a government that had seized power in our country with the support of foreigners and that was working for them.
My dear ones, the Pahlavi regime, which was overthrown by the Revolution, had two kings: Reza and Mohammad Reza. Reza was brought to power by the English and Mohammad Reza seized power with the help of the English and the Americans. How is the relationship between a government that comes to power with the help of foreign hands and its people and how is the relationship between this government and those foreigners? Reza Pahlavi – Reza Khan – was brought to power by the English. Later on, when the war broke out, because of the trouble that Hitler used to stir and because his nature and temper was like that of Hitler, he leaned towards the Germans and he was inclined towards them. He wanted German architects and engineers to enter the country.
These things made the English angry. They themselves had brought him to power and they themselves said to him that he should leave- and he did so. Well, there is no greater humiliation for a country and a nation to have someone at the top who is brought to power by the English and who has to leave when they grow tired of him and he has to obey!
Very well, the English sent a message saying that you should leave. If you are a real man, if you are a true human being and if you there is a tinge of pride in you, you would disobey! Let them kill you, but he did not do so! Instead, he went to visit Mohammad Ali Forughi – who was the agent of the English and who acted as a go-between – at his house, saying to him that he was ready to leave. They provided him with a car, driving him to Isfahan. And then he travelled to the sea through different routes and they made him board the ship and took him away. Is there a greater humiliation than this for a nation?
The Revolution came and overthrew this regime. The Revolution emerged and pulled the country out of the hands of these mean, small and oppressive individuals. The revolutionary spirit is the life and soul of this nation. Will a pen that weakens this spirit in the people and that makes them doubt it be forgiven by God?
In order to transform the educational system, there is a need for revolutionary spirit. “Revolutionary spirit” means not being fearful, not having certain considerations and not being conservative. When you make a decision, you should take action and move forward. You should not be satisfied with stagnancy and you should not do things in an ostentatious manner. Sometimes, you do something, but it is a mere formality and it is carried out in a showy way. This is poisonous! This should not be the case. You should do tasks in a serious manner. These courses of action help implement transformation and they make it possible. Of course, when I say that you should not be stagnant, that you should move forward and take action, this does not mean that you should not listen to criticism if it is legitimate. This should not be the case because this is a revolutionary move. You should appreciate and listen to well-informed criticism. You should receive critics warmly. This is the first point.
The second point is that the research and educational planning organization is the heart of the educational system. You should appreciate the value of this heart and you should attach great significance to it. Educational planning is a very important matter. The educational texts and materials that are produced in this center and organization should be compatible with the regulations of the transformation plan. This is a necessary task. Of course, I have heard that they are working on it. I have received a report showing that they are carrying this out, but it should be done at a faster pace and in a more serious way.
According to the report that I have received, they have set a 12-year timetable in order to do this, no? Twelve years is not acceptable! Should the compatibility of educational materials with the transformation plan occur after 12 years? No, it should not be like this. The present time is an era in which hours play an important part in the progress of societies. It is about hours, not about 12 years. You should set a timetable, but it should be short. You should increase your endeavors and seriousness.
These educational materials should cultivate youth in the same way that I explained. One of the points that should definitely receive attention in the preparation of these materials is that revolutionary messages and teachings should be included in them. Revolutionary teachings should not only be seen in the ethics textbook and the like or in the literature textbook and other such textbooks. Revolutionary teachings, concepts and lessons can be included in all books and texts.
I have said many times that a math or physics teacher might sometimes utter one word in the classroom which might exert more influence than one hour of speech by this humble person. This is how it is. Revolutionary teachings should be inserted. This is another matter. Therefore, you should take a serious approach towards the research and educational planning organization and you should attach great significance to it. You should fill that organization with knowledgeable, well-informed, intellectual, pious and revolutionary personalities.
Another issue is about Farhangian University [teacher education university] and the University of Shahid Rajai. Mr. Minister pointed this out. I too am aware that there has been progress in terms of quantity and it should be so. Quantity is not enough yet. The educational system is still suffering from a vast wave of retirement which should be made up for. Both quantity and quality should be improved. Everything that is done at Farhangian University and the University of Shahid Rajai should be in line with the religious and revolutionary cultivation of teachers.
You should do something to help schools and classrooms benefit from teachers who teach religion, piety, morality and revolutionary values in the true sense of the word. You should not give in to this and that person’s pressures either. I have heard that sometimes different centers of power exert pressure. You should not submit to these pressures and you should observe the law. You should move on the basis of the law.
Another issue in this regard is about exceptional talents schools which is a very important matter. It is very important to build outstanding personalities. Exceptional talents schools should not be undermined. You should strengthen them as much as you can. The country’s position in international competitions should be preserved. I have heard that we have been demoted in a number of fields. We have been demoted in mathematics, physics, computer sciences and chemistry. These things should be made up for. One of the sources of honor for the country is the children who participate in international competitions and who achieve a high rank. You should not allow their rank to go down.
Another issue and point is about vivacity and enthusiasm in the school environment. I have repeated this many times whether regarding university students, the youth of the country in general or school students. They should be in an energetic and enthusiastic environment. However, many people misunderstand this. When we speak about being energetic, they think that there should be an atmosphere of jumping up and down and dancing. Being energetic does not mean this. Being energetic means that youth should be lively so much so that they do not wither. This should be provided with sports and with instructive and attractive extracurricular plans. It should be provided with these things, not with things that have reportedly happened in some schools.
Of course, you should take care of these issues and you should pursue them. The educational system is directly in charge of these affairs. I have heard that some schools are not in good condition in this regard. They do certain things in the name of liveliness. Liveliness means doing something to help youth become fresh, enthusiastic, hopeful, motivated, ready to work and energetic so that they study their lessons.
Sometimes, pressures related to studying are against this liveliness. In some schools, they pressure teenagers and youth so much that they become exhausted. Let us hope that they do so with good intentions, but some people say that they do these tasks to enhance their reputation regarding the university entrance exam. They do not think of teenagers. They only think about the interests of their association so much so that they can say that they have had such and such number of admissions or such and such a number of candidates whose rank was below a hundred and other such intentions. They pressure youth and teenagers for the sake of their own name. In my opinion, you should think about these matters. All these are matters that require working, thinking and pursuing. This was another important point.
I just mentioned the issue of the entrance exam. You should think about the entrance exam. Of course, I do not want to express my personal viewpoint in this regard because I am not an expert in this matter, but educational experts should think about it. Now that our universities say, “we have empty seats” – every year, it is announced that university classrooms have empty seats – you should see if it is better to have the entrance exam or not or to continue it in the same way or not. You should think about it in a proper, deep and practical way and then you should follow it up with action so that you can resolve the matter.
Another very important issue is the issue of the deputy of moral education. In recent years, I have stressed the deputy of moral education many times. There used to be a tacit – and sometimes written – policy to eliminate this deputy. In recent years, this has thankfully not been the case and certain measures have been adopted. The deputy of moral education continues to exist, but I believe that what has been done so far is not enough. The deputy of moral education has certain shortcomings in the area of its bureaucratic structure, motivated and revolutionary personnel and financial resources. Mr. Bathayi, the honorable Minister of Education, should pursue the matter so that the deputy of moral education can fulfil its potential throughout the whole educational system in the true sense of the word.
I would like to raise two additional points and after that, I will discuss a general matter. The first point is about teachers’ livelihood problems which was touched on by the honorable Minister. Teachers are respectable, honorable and well-credited individuals. Therefore, their dignity should be preserved. We should adopt such an approach towards the financial income of teachers that their dignity will not be jeopardized. Some individuals who work on different partisan and political matters and who possibly have connections with foreigners are trying to take advantage of this weak point for the sake of their own goals. This is one issue, but even excluding this matter, you should act in a way that teacher’s dignity be safeguarded.
The second point is about flood-stricken students. You should not allow them to fall behind in terms of education. Regarding the renovation and building schools, certain promises have been made, God willing, which should be pursued in a serious way, but in the natural course of events. School-building benefactors, who form a good orientation in the country to be fair, should help carry this out. Many schools have been destroyed. Building and renovating them requires great endeavor and large sums of money. This should be fulfilled with the help of the administration, the people and benefactors. As long as this has not been done, those flood-stricken students who stay in temporary places and camps or wherever they are, should not fall behind their educational schedule. The issue of education is very important.
As for the general issue which I wanted to discuss, thankfully there are many organizations in charge of scientific, educational and research affairs. Today, we have many organizations in charge of research and scientific affairs. They should be proud of managing to foil the false temptation to create a confrontation between science and religion. Materialistic powers in the world have been working on this for two, three centuries in order to prove that science and religion do not get along. Today, the flag of religion in the Islamic Republic is taller than all other countries. In terms of science too, the country is one of the leading countries in the world. Not only have secular countries, countries obedient to the US and countries whose policies follow western and American policies fallen behind in terms of religion, but they have also fallen behind in terms of science!
I have heard that an Arab journalist has said, addressing his own rulers, “The difference between Iran and you is that Iran builds reactors while you build bars. They enrich uranium while you distribute wine and promote western forms of perversion and corruption in your society.” This is our country’s great source of honor and pride.
Today, thousands of researchers and thinkers – whether in universities or in other centers – are busy teaching and working. I am saying this based on reliable information. Most of them are young, pious and very religious with a religious and Islamic identity, and with an identity demonstrating a glorious Iran. They are working with motivation in different areas. They innovate, educate, do research and produce science. And they produce technology on the basis of that science. Of course, because we used to suffer from grave backwardness, the movement that has been launched in the country today should continue for many years. It is a very good and intense movement, but it should continue for years to come so that the results will be completely seen. This is one issue.
Another issue is about acquiring expertise which I had insisted on before. This means implementing scientific findings and passing this to school and university students. Of course, the main center for this task is the educational system. This should start from high schools. It should start from schools. If the spirit of acquiring expertise is kindled in youth – that is to say, if they learn how to implement scientific findings – then the fruits of it will be many in the future.
The last issue that I want to discuss with you dear ones is that you should notice that our enemy is busy attacking from all sides today. You can already see his attack in the area of the economy. In terms of intelligence too, they are busy hatching a plot to infiltrate in the area of intelligence. In the area of cyber space too, they are planning on striking the country. Anyway, it is the enemy. The enemy primarily means the US and Zionism.
The enemy is not particular to the current US administration. The previous ones had the same approach, but in different ways. The help that the person currently in power in the US has given us – for which we should be grateful – is that he has displayed the naked truth about the US. As I had mentioned before, the previous ones used to wear velvet gloves over their iron fists. Many people did not see this, but they were wrong. But these idiots are taking off their gloves and showing their iron fists to everyone.
They are making an explicit move. The enemy is entering the arena from all sides. The officials of the country, all capable personalities and the masses of the people should do whatever they can in the face of this enemy. They should prepare themselves in every area and field that they can and they should be present in the arena. They should have a sense of responsibility.
The enemy is in battle formation. He is in battle formation in the area of the economy. He is in battle formation in the area of politics. In the area of the military, he is apparently not in battle formation, but our military is focused in any case. As I mentioned, he is taking on a battle formation in the area of cyber space. In the face of this enemy who has taken a battle formation against the people of Iran, the people should take on a proper formation. They should prepare themselves in all areas.
One of the most fundamental tasks is preserving unity and solidarity. The masses of the people should take care not to stand up against each other because of small differences of opinion and disagreements. They should know that the power of this nation lies in unity: the unity of the masses of the people, the unity of various social groups, the unity of the different tribes who live in the country and the unity of the officials of the country with the people and the unity of the people with the officials of the country.
This is what empowers the country, as it has empowered it until today. Thankfully, this power exists and it should be preserved. And they should know that by Allah’s favor, the plots that the enemy is hatching and all the schemes that he is devising against the Iranian nation, will end up to his own disadvantage despite the vast propaganda campaigns that they have launched in order to disturb minds and to distort the realities.
By Allah’s favor, you dear youth will see the defeat of America. By Allah’s favor, you will witness that the Zionist regime will be brought to its knees. By Allah’s favor, you will be witness to the greatness and ultimate dignity of the Iranian nation.
God’s mercy be on our magnanimous Imam. God’s mercy be upon our dear martyrs. God’s mercy be upon all the mujahids on the path of the truth.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings