No grade reports for 81,000 students in under-curfew southeastern towns

No grade reports for 81,000 students in under-curfew southeastern towns

ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
No grade reports for 81,000 students in under-curfew southeastern towns

A girl poses for a photograph in front of a wall bearing a picture of her school class as she stands in the ruins of her house, damaged in the fighting between security forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), in Silopi, in southeastern Turkey, near the border with Iraq on January 19, 2016. AFP Photo

More than 81,000 students in three southeastern Turkish towns will not be able get their half term grade reports on Jan. 22, as education has been suspended in the towns since Dec. 14, 2015. 

Some 17.5 million students across Turkey will enter their 15-day-long semester break on Jan. 22, when they will receive their grade reports. 

However, some 39,000 students from 68 schools in the Silopi district of Şırnak province will not get their grades, as their schools have been closed for over one month due to the curfew imposed by the authorities amid clashes between the security forces and Kurdish militants. In the Cizre district of Şırnak, 41,127 students in 104 schools will be affected, while more than 1,000 students in seven schools in the Sur district of Diyarbakır province will not be able to get their half term grade reports. 

Education has been stopped in Silopi and Cizre since Dec. 13, 2015, when the Education Ministry told teachers in text messages that they should leave the towns in advance of the impending long-term military curfew. The towns had already been affected by a number of curfews due to clashes between the security forces and militants aligned to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“Catch-up” classes are planned to begin on Jan. 25 to allow the students to keep up with the curriculum elsewhere in the provinces of Şırnak, Diyarbakır and Mardin. Eighth and 12th grade students will also be offered courses to prepare for the high school and university entrance exams. 

Half term grade reports will eventually be given to the students after the completion of the “catch-up” classes.

Meanwhile, it is also planned that students unable to go to school due to the clashes will not be officially counted as “absent,” and procedures will be eased for those students who demand to change their schools. 

Education and health services have taken a major blow in southeastern Turkey, as most health and education personnel have fled the region due to ongoing clashes.