New school year begins with problems
28 schools in Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Hakkari, Muş, Bingöl and Van were damaged in Molotov attacks in the lead up to the new school year. AA PhotoOn the first day of the new term schools came under attack in southeastern Turkey, where the Kurdish issue continues to be a burning subject despite the ongoing peace process.
A total of 17 schools were burned, and 28 schools and cram schools in Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Hakkari, Muş, Bingöl and Van were damaged in Molotov attacks allegedly conducted in the past week by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Interior Ministry has alerted local governors, urging a security increase in educational institutions.
Kurdish groups started a week-long boycott of schools yesterday to protest the lack of mother-tongue education in the nation’s school system.
The PKK has opened its own Kurdish education schools in Diyarbakır’s Bağlar, Şırnak’s Cizre and Hakkari’s Yüksekova districts, although a similar school in Diyarbakır’s Lice district was declared “illegal” by the district governor, sparking anger.
Meanwhile, many parents across the country have also complained that a new middle school system is assigning students to religious schools without their consent. The Education Ministry announced that students will be able to re-apply for another school in mid-September.
Touching on a new decree that makes it possible for schools to offer spaces of worship, Education Minister Nabi Avcı said places of worship could be opened “where needed” but that they would not be “obligatory.”
Some 1.6 million children are attending preschool for the new 2014-2015 year, while the total number of students starting primary school is expected to be 5.6 million. Another 5.9 million will begin secondary school and 4.6 million students will commence high school. The first semester will continue until Jan. 26, 2015, when the mid-term break begins.