Museum of Vicious Statues

Museum of Vicious Statues

If private university entrance preparatory courses can be shut down, something people have insisted would be an impossible deed, then the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will never lose an election.

Despite its paradoxes, its fanaticism, its partisanship and its probably fatal mistakes in foreign politics, the AKP continues to be especially skilled at finding and exploiting their accomplishments that are both beneficial to the public and also bring in votes.

The closing of the private courses is one of them. Up until now, maybe no other decision considered by the AKP has affected so many people.

This would be a decision that would extensively relieve millions of families and students.

Kids will be relieved of the exam’s pressure that has been shown to cause several psychological disorders. They will be able to live their childhood. They will be able to play games (if they can find a place to play games in these concrete cities).

The son of one of my nephews is a very smart boy. He has always been among the top five of his class since elementary school. Despite the fact that he should be the last student to be sent to a private course, he was attending a “dershane” day and night and even on weekends. For this reason, whenever I see him he is out of energy and inert. And every time I see him my heart sinks.

The biggest enemy of underdeveloped states is their own public.

In underdeveloped countries everybody is more or less a victim. My nephew, just like millions of kids, has become one of these victims.

However, will the AKP be able to shut down the private university entrance courses altogether? Or alternatively, how many of them will it be able to remove if any at all?

What keeps these courses alive is not just the university entrance exam.

Those who monitor the subject closely say “There are many other exams carried out by Turkey’s Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM). For this reason, this market of courses has to keep existing.”

Do you know how many exams the ÖSYM has scheduled for this year? Forty-one (To see the full list check the ÖSYM website).

The ÖSYM is an unprecedented exam giant with exams regarding the gendarmerie noncommissioned officer core course entrance exam, dentistry specialty training entrance exam, military high school exams on the selection of students for the brass band of noncommissioned officers and on the selection of disabled civil servants.

ÖSYM is the continuation of the Interuniversity Student Selection and Placement Center set up in 1974 by the Interuniversity Board. It was taken over by the Higher Education Board (YÖK) in 1981. In time ÖSYM developed and advanced in parallel with rising demand, and according to several education specialists, it deteriorated.

There are serious concerns about the reliability of YÖK, but because it suits the authoritarian motives of the AKP it stays in place.

We will probably never be able to know whether it was YÖK that deteriorated the ÖYSM or vice versa.
This dershane scam causes unfair competition for millions of students. This is vicious even in our country, which is the motherland of viciousness. It is a scam that has a place for a statue, as a friend of mine said, if a “Museum of Vicious Statues” is ever opened.

Metin Münir is a columnist for daily Milliyet in which this piece was published on Sept. 14. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.