Religious high schools do not train the enemy
The opposition, in all the time it has existed as such, has never shown so much resistance. It is now demonstrating the most influential opposition it ever has. It has made its case. It has blocked commissions, used every opportunity for obstruction, and demonstrated that it is against this law. It has satisfied its public to a huge extent.
But we are missing one point.
Apart from those few people who wrote this law and who have scrutinized it, no one knows what the 3 x 4 system will bring us, and what it will take away. No one understands it. I do not understand it either. It is so complicated, and its consequences are so vague, no one is able to solve it.
I have been very assertive on this topic. I have asked many deputies and many journalists, but have not been able to get a proper answer to these questions: What is this law? What is its purpose?
According to the opposition, its purpose is to re-open the middle school sections of the imam hatip high schools (religious high schools), in order to increase the number of religious high schools and gradually transform all public education in Turkey into religious education. How will that happen? No one can provide any convincing reasoning.
The ruling party, on the other hand, is erasing the last mark of February 28. It is lifting the restrictions on the imam hatip schools, and is returning to the system that was in place before Feb. 28, 1997. This change is a symbol of prestige for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
If the fight in Parliament had erupted on the articles of the bill, then it would have been more understandable to public, but it didn’t happen that way. A war has been fought. The government pressed, and the opposition resisted. The main problem was integrating religious education into the system. My expectation was that the imam hatip schools would be groomed, have their status reviewed, and open their doors to the youth who need them. If the fight was about this, then all of us would have won, from the angle of upgrading the equilibrium in this country to a healthy level.
Some things will change, even if it’s through fights, fists and slaps. And we can be sure that since there are so many gray areas, all of work will again be left in the hands of the bureaucrats. It will become a scratch pad. After that, we will sit down and cry, “Why can’t we raise contemporary youth?”
We can’t rise above the mediocre
I read something in Serdar Turgut’s column that I liked very much. We are a mediocre society; a mediocre country. Yes, our economy is doing well, our exports are breaking records and our businessmen are achieving one success after another. Our country is much richer than it was 10 years ago. But this is not enough.
Unfortunately, we are satisfied with this much. We regard mediocrity as top quality, and we are gradually getting used to this. I’m talking about settling for mediocrity, rather than having the vision and creativity to seek further discoveries. I’m talking about not wanting more in almost in every situation.
Our education system is both slow and mediocre. Our democracy is mediocre. Our justice system is mediocre. Our media is mediocre.
We say “we have come a long way.” We compare the point we have reached with our own past and console ourselves. We do not see that others in the world have gone much further than we have; we do not want to see it. We do not want to notice China and India’s success.
We do not have a passion for applauding and embracing bright ideas or being able to move beyond outdated rules. Be sure that, with this approach, we will not reach the position of a “leading country.”
Serdar Turgut is very right. In order to catch up with the times, we should abandon mediocrity.