Back to School

Back to School

Today’s Zaman, Nicole Pope

Close to 18 million children are returning to school after what has been an unusually long summer break. As if the three months initially scheduled were not sufficient, the authorities decided to add an extra two weeks of vacation in a move apparently designed to support the struggling tourism industry. Read More

Feminists Must Continue to Engage with Education by Unpacking The ‘Girl Child’ and Her ‘Empowerment’

Feminists Must Continue to Engage with Education by Unpacking The ‘Girl Child’ and Her ‘Empowerment’

 Akanksha Misra, University of Washington

At the dawn of the post Millennium Development Goal (MDG)s, the direct link between achieving universal (primary) education and women’s empowerment as was predicted with the MDGs at the beginning of the 21st century, has been notably shattered and widely criticized within development circles. Read More
Prep Schools and Social Mobility

Prep Schools and Social Mobility

Today’s Zaman, Abdülkadir Civan
The Constitutional Court of Turkey has released its detailed ruling on the forced closure of prep schools, or dershanes.

Last year, the Turkish government passed legislation which would make it illegal to provide and to receive private tutoring services through the dershanes, effective Sept. 1, 2015 Read More

Turkish Parents Complain of Push Towards Religious Schools

Turkish Parents Complain of Push Towards Religious Schools

When Itir Erhart, 39, wanted to enrol her daughter in primary school, she found that it was almost impossible to find somewhere that did not teach Sunni Islamic religion and Sunni religious practices.

“We are a non-religious family,” Erhart said. “I don’t want my child to learn about God in school.”

In the end, she had to turn to the private sector for fear that her daughter would be marked out as the only non-religious child in the class. “Religion has become so dominant in Turkish state culture that I was afraid my daughter would be completely marginalised. Read More

Erdogan Launches Sunni Islamist Revival in Turkish Schools

Erdogan Launches Sunni Islamist Revival in Turkish Schools

Newsweek, Alexander Christie-Miller

When Hasan Erol and other parents learned that their children’s school would be converted to specialise in Islamic education, they hit the streets. Yeşilbahar Middle School is among five in Istanbul’s staunchly secular district of Kadıköy to have been earmarked for conversion into imam-hatips, religious schools in which 20% to one-third of hours are dedicated to Sunni Islamic study. “They want to transform this area into something else,” says Erol, whose 13-year-old son goes to the school. “They want to make it more conservative by bringing imam-hatips here.” Yeşilbahar was spared. Authorities relented in the face of protests and a petition and, for now, it remains a general middle school. There have been drawbacks, however. This year, no new students have been registered. In a meeting with officials, Erol claimed, the regional education director threatened to stop enrolling students altogether so that, in time, “they will have no parents to deal with”. Read More