Academic Year and Education Structure of Iran

Iran has a very centralized system of education. The school education is divided into grades beginning from 1 to 12 where wearing uniform is mandatory for all students. Every school runs for almost 200 days in a year from Saturdays through Thursdays. They remain closed on Fridays and public holidays.  

Academic Sessions in Iran

As far as the beginning of new academic year is concerned, all schools and universities run from September to June for a period of 10 months. However, there are universities which conduct very few courses during the summer season.

Students get three-month summer vacation. During Nowruz (Persian New Year), all schools remain closed beginning from the month of March 20 through the starting of the month of April. The first semester usually starts on the first day of Mehr according to Persian Calendar. Mehr is the first month of autumn in Iran and it coincides with the first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. So basically, the first fall semester begins on the first day of Mehr and culminates in the month of January. Second semester is held in spring time. The session starts in winter and culminates in the month of June.

Dates may slightly vary from institutions to institutions, but this system is generally followed through all the levels of education in Iran.

Education Structure of Iran

 Here is a comprehensive glance at the educational structure of Iran in a tabular format:
 Level of Education Academic Years AgeNature
 Pre-school Education 1year 5 Optional
 Elementary Education or Dabestan 5 years
 6 to 11 Free and compulsory
 Middle Education or Raahnamaai 3 years
 11 to 14 Mandatory(6-8th grade)
 Secondary Education or Dabirestan 4 years
 14 to 17 NOT mandatory (9 -12th grade)
 Higher Education 2 to 4 years 18 to 22 Optional

Overview of Medium of Instruction in Iran

Elementary education of the students takes place from ages 6 or 7. At this level, a variety of subjects are introduced for studies including Practical Sciences, Social Sciences and Persian literature. English language is not taught in elementary schools. Only some private schools teach English language at elementary levels.

However, when students enter middle school, English becomes a part of their curriculum. The language is taught for around 3 hours every week. At the level of secondary education, English is taught for about 2 hours a week as a foreign language in order to equip students for international communication. After this when students proceed to pre-university level for 1 year, they are taught English for 4 hours every week.

In this context, it should be pointed that Farsi or Persian is the official language of instruction in the country and English is taught as the second language or foreign language. Apart from English, other foreign languages such as French, German, Arabic, Chinese and Spanish are also taught. But English language is given most preference.
Hence, considering the overall scenario it can be said that language of instruction in Iran is Farsi and among foreign language studies English is most preferred.

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