A group of students between the ages of 10 and 13 was forced to clean a mosque in the Aegean province of İzmir as part of "social activity."
The students were taken to Hacı Bayram Veli mosque and the video of children cleaning the mosque was shared in a WhatsApp group including teachers, the daily Evrensel reported on Oct. 18, adding that the parents of the children were infuriated by the move.
"Using children for cleaning under the guise of 'social activity' is unacceptable for pedagogical reasons," Education and Science Workers' Union (Eğitim Sen) official Mustafa Yıldız said.
"It's also unacceptable when the pandemic conditions are taken into account," he said, noting that there are numerous classrooms under quarantine in the province.
Saying that children should be in schools instead of mosques, Yıldız noted that social activities must be planned in accordance with the students' pedagogical developments.
He also questioned whether necessary permits were obtained when carrying out such a "social activity."
"We face countless procedures when taking children to museums or other trips. Were necessary permissions obtained for this activity?" Yıldız asked.
"We are curious about what learning outcome is expected from this," he noted.