Girls head home after Şırnak dormitory closed
Bayram Kaplan - ŞIRNAK / Doğan News Agency
The students are seen on their way home. ‘Shall we find a husband at this age instead of studying,’ asked one student after the dormitory serving girl students was shut down. DHA photoSome 125 female boarding students were forced to abandon classes at a high school in the southeastern province of Þýrnak one week before the commencement of their mid-term break when authorities decided to shut their dormitory down.
“While campaigns to [send] girls to school are underway, they sent us packing back to our villages. We had a hard time trying to persuade our families to receive high school education in the district. Our fathers are looking for an excuse not to send us to school,” said one of the students who commutes to the district from a neighboring village.
The upper stories of the school cafeteria had been converted into a dormitory to host the female students from surrounding villages in the Boarding Regional Primary School in Þýrnak’s Ýdil district, according to reports.
“We provide the food for the boarding students. We were forced to shut the dormitory down, however, as the personnel provided to us by the Turkish Employment Organization (Ýþ-Kur) were dismissed,” Ýdil District Governor Muhammet Mustafa Ýmamoðlu said.
Authorities requested that the students who attended the Ýdil and the Multi-Program High Schools in the district vacate their dormitory after employees working at the school were fired. The students consequently returned back to their villages one week before the mid-term break kicked in.
“It is sad that our education was disrupted due to such a simple problem despite all our enthusiasm to study. Shall we find a husband at this age instead of studying?” one of the girls said.
The students whose food was being paid for the Social Aid and Solidarity Foundation claimed they had been subjected to injustice and lashed out at the officials, according to reports.
“It seems all the more agonizing that the overall problem of these students being expelled from the dormitory is attributed to the [dismissal of] the employees working for Ýþ-Kur. It strikes us as a mistake that the district governor’s office did not execute a gradual [plan] in this respect,” said Tacettin Yýldýz, the head of the Ýdil branch of the Education and Science Personnel Union (Eðitim-Sen).
Despite public awareness of efforts by both the prime minister’s and the president’s offices to increase female schooling rates, the enactment of such a measure amounts to an injury, he added.