New security measures underway for schools, Turkish interior ministry says
ANKARAThe Turkish Interior Ministry is set to introduce a bunch of new security measures in and around school premises before the academic year starts on Sept. 18, daily Habertürk reported on Sept. 8.
According to a newly released circular letter by the ministry, security cameras will be placed in 1,000 schools, determined by the security general directorate. The cameras will be integrated into the police’s public area CCTV system.
Additionally, one security personnel will be on duty in every school as a “Safe Education Coordination Attendant.”
Attendants will hold a meeting at least once a week in the designated schools with school managers, and every two weeks or once a month at other schools. The problems the schools face will be sent to the relevant departments of the police forces in written reports.
“Irrelevant people” wandering around school areas will be banned from doing so and will be imposed a legal fine, if seen necessary.
The attendants will observe whether there are people around school premises attempting to sell cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs to students. Derelict buildings around school areas will also be inspected.
Public order, narcotics, and traffic police teams will be present around school areas, if necessary. They will cooperate with local authorities as well as neighborhood locals.
The measure aims to protect students from illegal organizations and their ideological activities alongside from “elements” posing a negative impact on children’s physical and sexual development.
During school hours, students will not be let into internet cafes or videogame centers. Outside school hours, these cafes and centers will be inspected to ensure they apply an age limit on visitors.
In addition, various training programs will be prepared by relevant police departments regarding children’s security, which will be offered to school managers as well as students.
Police will be on watch to inspect pubs and Turkish coffeehouses, known as “kahvehane,” do not let in students, initiating controls in open public spaces such as parks and gardens to protect children from substance abuse.
For about 17.5 million pre-school, elementary, middle and high school students in Turkey, the nearly three-month summer break will end on Sept. 18 with the launch of the 2017-18 academic year.
Of the 17.5 million students, about 14.7 million will attend public schools, 1.2 million private schools, and the rest to attend distance learning programs.
Not just students but about 1.22 million teachers will also begin working after the long break.