Education Ministry to supervise 10,000 dormitories after abuse scandals

Education Ministry to supervise 10,000 dormitories after abuse scandals

Nuran Çakmakçı – ISTANBUL
Education Ministry to supervise 10,000 dormitories after abuse scandals

Some 10,000 private dormitory licenses will be transferred to the supervision of the Education Ministry (MEB), the undersecretary has said, amid cases of child abuse and security issues in local dormitories that have been publicized by the media.

“Not everyone can run the dormitory business anymore. We have launched a training program and have brought certificate obligation. All dormitories that do not fulfil the conditions will be closed by the end of the year,” MEB Undersecretary Yusuf Tekin said on Dec. 25.

The discussion over the security of local dormitories was triggered after 10 students in their teens, a four-year-old child and an instructor was killed in a dormitory fire in Turkey’s southern district of Aladağ in November 2016.

A parliamentary investigation commission was established in February 2017, as the government issued a state of emergency decree in August 2017, regulating criteria for the establishment and personnel of the dormitories.

“We have given the dormitories a deadline for the end of 2019 to complete the deficiencies regarding building standards. However, we will not wait until 2019 for security issues. The appointment of all personnel will be supervised with our approval,” Tekin added.

There are around 10,000 private dormitories in Turkey, which have obtained their licenses from governors, municipalities or the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

With the new regulation, establishment and regulation licenses will only be obtained by the MEB and these private establishments will be expected to be under the ministry’s supervision.

For this reason, the ministry has completed a directive for standards.

“We have filled a gap in legislation. Our primary concern is security. We have defined the qualities of the personnel that will work here. When our inspectors detect any person out of our registry, necessary measures will be taken regarding that dormitory. In addition, we will determine the number of students and the size of that place,” Tekin said.

“We have determined a standard for medical personnel, security personnel, teachers and school counsellors based on their quality and number,” he added.