Courses on Atatürk should be renoved from curriculum, says Turkey’s conservative teachers union
ISTANBULTurkey’s conservative teachers’ union Eğitim-Bir-Sen has suggested that courses related to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkish Republic, should be removed from school curriculums.
The union’s statement came after the Education Ministry announced that it had concluded efforts at renovating the schedule.
The report, which was prepared by a total of 50 academics and teachers, stated that Kemalism should not be taught in middle class and high school. It also said that religion courses should be taught starting from first grade and that they should focus heavily on Islam, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Jan. 5.
“The elites of the republic made the construction of a secular Turkish nation as an aim rather than a society with strong religious bonds,” the statement released by the union read, adding that Kemalism was “an understanding of education that doesn’t permit differences.”
“In other to reach their aims, religion was taken out of the constitution, religion, Arabic and Persian courses were taken out of the curriculum and the alphabet was changed in order to break bonds with the past. A modern education system was designed within the concept of a positivist understanding of science. There was an aim to raise human beings with a positivist understanding that humiliated religion and sanctified the mind and science,” the statement read.
Eğitim-Bir-Sen is known for its nationalistic and conservative stance.
Criticizing the reforms that were introduced during the formation of the Turkish Republic, Eğitim-Bir-Sen noted that issues of “religion and secularism” were being handled “in a broadness that surpasses its aim.”
The union also said textbooks should be redesigned by taking the aforementioned suggestions into account. It added that no alternative views were presented in the curriculum.
“Some of the principles of Atatürk that are involved in the syllabi of courses related to history and Atatürk have no validity,” the statement said.
Several other suggestions were also involved in Eğitim-Bir-Sen’s report, including the addition of the July 2016 failed coup to the syllabus and the development of courses on reciting the Quran.