Turkish biology associations criticize Education Ministry for excluding evolution from curriculum
Gamze Kolcu - ANKARAA group of Turkish biology associations have reacted against a recently announced curriculum, saying they are disappointed with the fact that evolution has been left out.
“In the curriculum for secondary school biology, which was published in full text, we found that some of the suggestions we made to the [Education] Ministry and the board of education and discipline were included. We consider this a positive step. However, the curriculum as a whole has created disappointment in the biology community of our country,” read a statement by the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Society of Turkey, the Molecular Biology Association and the Solidarity Association of Biologists.
The final version of Turkey’s national school curriculum has left evolution out and added the concept of “jihad” as part of Islamic law in books, Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz said on July 18.
The new curriculum will be executed for first, fifth and ninth graders starting this year and it will extend to other classes in the 2018-2019 academic year. Accordingly, a total of 176 class curricula have been renewed.
Yılmaz said evolution was not included in the national curriculum “because it is above the students’ level and not directly relevant,” leaving the topic to university education.
The associations recalled that they mentioned in the report that Saudi Arabia is the only country that excludes evolution in its national curriculum.
They also reacted against less class time set aside for biology in the new curriculum.