Turkish education ministry launches investigation into principal over segregation of male, female students
KONYAThe Turkish Education Ministry on June 13 launched an investigation into the principal of a high school in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, two days after he announced on the school’s website that classes would be gender-segregated starting from the 2017-2018 education year, Doğan News Agency has reported
The news was shared by the Konya provincial director of national education, Mukadder Gürsoy, who said the school’s regulation was against the bylaws of the ministry.
“Neither the district nor the provincial directorate of national education was informed about this situation.
The parents might have some demands, but we have to execute the regulations. Last term, they set up a pilot class, but we have just been informed about this. The school’s principal has no authority to do this. We have also launched an investigation for the opened class last term. We also told them to immediately take off the announcement,” Gürsoy said.
The controversial announcement posted on the Konevi Anatolian High School’s website on June 11, with the signature of the school principal, Ömer Faruk Özarslan, triggered fury among the Turkish public, with a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) calling on Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz to take action regarding the incident.
“While the world is busy with science, our school principals are busy segregating female and male students.
This announcement was shared by the Konevi Anadolu High School’s principal on the school’s website. These dangerous events are worrying. I am calling on Minister Yılmaz to press charges against the school principal who undertook such a polarizing action that is against laws,” CHP İzmir lawmaker Tuncay Özkan said on Twitter on June 12.
Following the reactions, Özarslan told Doğan News Agency that he had made the decision after receiving demands from parents. “If the students wish, they will attend mixed classes, if not, they will attend gender-segregated classes,” he said, noting that there were 740 students, of whom 60 percent are females.
“There is in fact no problem. Last year [2016-2017 year’s second term] we have seen its success in male-only classes. One of our students built a 3D printer, which we exhibited at a science fair in Istanbul. It is a project that will really boost academic success. There is no political, ideological and religious dimension to it. We do not and cannot look at it this way,” he said.
Claiming that he was authorized to undertake such a project in school, Özarslan said they removed the announcement from the website after the reactions. The ministry is waiting for an explanation on the matter.