Turkish teachers demand protection against violence, higher wages
A majority of Turkish teachers demand legal protection against violence and higher purchasing power, surveys conducted by labor unions have revealed.
“Even though teachers have often been exposed to violence from parents and students, it is remarkable that the majority of them have not filed complaints. We demand a Law to Prevent Violence in order to avert violence against education employees,” said Talip Geylan, chair of the Turkish Education Training and Science Services Public Workers Union (Türk Eğitim Sen).
“We support the preparation of the Teaching Profession Law. The Education Ministry should take action as soon as possible. The dignity of the teaching profession should be protected and the statue of the legal basis of the teaching profession should be strengthened,” he added in a press briefing to announce the findings of a recent survey on Nov. 23.
Seventy-two percent of teachers are indebted and 26 percent of them have a side job, according to the Türk Eğitim-Sen survey conducted among 11,454 teachers.
“Teachers want extra wage hikes,” Geylan said, answering a question about recent hikes in exchange and inflation rates.
Almost one in every three teachers said they were exposed to violence. Fifty-four percent of violent acts against teachers were reported as verbal violence whereas 39 percent of them were in the form of mobbing and 7 percent of them were in forms of physical and sexual assault.
Ninety-five percent of teachers disapproved of the interview method in appointments, preferring nationwide written examinations and 42 percent of them pointed out that the main problem of the education system is that “incapable people without merit are in charge.”
In another survey conducted by the Union of Education and Science Laborers (Eğitim-Sen), almost 60 percent of teachers said their wages are insufficient and they do not feel well-respected at work.
“Our wages should be increased by 1,395 Turkish Liras to compensate for the loss on the basis of the United States dollar,” Eğitim-Sen chair Feray Aytekin Aydoğan said.
She also called on the government to reinstate public employees dismissed “unlawfully” by state of emergency decrees.
The Teacher's Day has been celebrated on Nov. 24 in Turkey officially since 1981. Many countries celebrate World Teachers' Day, established by UNESCO in 1994, on Oct. 5 as their Teachers' Day.