Turkish high school entrance test annuled by governement
ANKARAAs Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz confirmed on Sept. 19 that Turkey’s high school entrance exam will not be held this year, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) continued to raise concerns on the issue, with one of its deputies claiming that the move aims to funnel students to religion-focused high schools.
The issue was brought to the country’s agenda on Sept. 15 with a statement from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in which he said “he hopes TEOG will be abolished immediately.”
Four days later, Education Minister Yılmaz announced that the TEOG exam, only introduced in 2013 to sort middle school students into appropriate high schools, would be lifted this year.
“The removal of the TEOG exam clears the path for Turkey. We have treated our kids as racehorses [due to the exam] … Our intention is sincere. We’ll take Turkey into the 21st century,” he said.
Asked what the TEOG would be replaced with this year, Yılmaz said the ministry is still “working on it.”
“We’ll present [the proposal] to the cabinet and we will present the decision that comes out to our people. What it boils down to is this - there is no need for anyone to worry,” he added.
Meanwhile, CHP Deputy Chair Veli Ağbaba claimed on Sept. 18 that the government’s move aims to funnel middle school students to imam hatip high schools.
“The aim of those who want to remove the TEOG [Transition from Primary to Secondary Education] exam, replacing it with a system that requires no exam, seems to be to pave the way for imam-hatip high schools again. In the current system, students who are unable to enter science-focused or regular Anatolian high schools are enrolled in imam-hatip high schools. Now, in a system with no [entrance] exam, they will want to direct at least half of the students in middle schools to imam-hatip [religious high schools],” Ağbaba said.
“The discussion on the TEOG exam aims to cover the failures of imam-hatip high schools … They are trying to turn all schools in Turkey into imam-hatip schools,” Ağbaba said at a press meeting in the eastern province of Malatya, Doğan News Agency reported.
Education union applies to Council of State for new curriculum’s annulment
Meanwhile, the Education and Science Workers (Eğitim-İş) union has announced that it has applied to the Council of State for the new curriculum recently submitted by the government to be annulled.
“The most basic issue in the program is the neglecting of Atatürk [the founder of modern Turkey] and reforms brought by the [Turkish] Republic, as well as the ideological content of the program. The removal of evolution theory from the course subjects, which has been much discussed, the inclusion of the concept of ‘jihad,’ and the presence of patronizing and sexist discourse regarding women and family life, reflect of the government’s efforts to ideologically direct students to a specific path,” the union stated.
“Also, the fact that ambiguous concepts are included in the curriculum such as ‘communication in mother tongue’ is a violation of the Constitution, which makes it compulsory for the education language to be in Turkish. A lawsuit has been filed by our union to the Council of State for the annulment of the curriculum, which completely violates the basic qualities of the Republic and Atatürk’s principles and reforms, which are the basis of the national education system,” it added.