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Iran's Science Minister Halts Gender Segregation In Universities

07/08/11 Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iran's Minister of Science said plans to segregate male and female university students have been halted in accordance with the president's orders, and no more professors will be retired until new ministry guidelines have been approved.

Yesterday, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a letter to the Ministers of Science and Health, urging them to halt the segregation of classes based on gender and the "inappropriate retiring" of professors in universities.

Science Minister Kamran Daneshjoo said university administrators have been trying to implement directives from the Cultural Revolution Council to "protect Islamic dignity and morals" in the universities.

Several universities previously had announced that many first-year classes in September would be offered separately for men and women. In addition, hundreds of university professors have been dismissed or forced into early retirement over the past two years for their alleged lack of commitment to Islamic values.

Daneshjoo said Ahmadinejad's demands will be carried out immediately but he stressed that the president is by no means questioning the move to make universities more compatible with Islamic principles. He explained that the president is concerned about creating a double standard in the universities by separating only a handful of classes.

The ministry is working on a more comprehensive approach to the issue, he said, such as the establishment of single sex universities.

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