Turkish Education Ministry launches investigation into all-girls school with religious curriculum

The Turkish Education Ministry on Nov. 17 launched an investigation into the “Külliyat Girls’ School” in the Blacksea province Samsun upon a CHP MP’s complaint. The school accepts female students only, teaches in Arabic and employs a religious curriculum against Turkish laws, according to CHP MP Sevda Erdan Kılıç.

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The Turkish Education Ministry on Nov. 17 opened an investigation into an elementary school in the northern Samsun province regarding its "religious" curriculum.

The move came after main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sevda Erdan Kılıç had filed a parliamentary question on the school’s Islamic curriculum, reported the daily BirGün on Nov. 17. 

According to Kılıç, the school hands out “Daughter of Islam Certificates” to its students for achievements and conducts education in Arabic. The school is also accredited by the Education Ministry.

Deputy Kılıç stated that the school’s existence violated the Turkish Consitution’s fundamental law on national education. “We will not allow for a schooling model that defies secular, scientific, and coeducational principles and violates laws,” she added. 

The Education Ministry stated that it had launched an investigation into the school upon Kılıç’s parliamentary question.    

Kılıç said that the ministry investigation was the product of a joint effort by parents, teachers, and non-governmental organizations. “The Education Minister who had been dreaming of Girls’ Schools was forced to remember the Constitution,” Kılıç added.  

Teacher’s and parents’ unions have criticized the Turkish Education Ministry for its “religiousization of education” efforts.

The Ministry ​​introduced additional “religion, morality, and values” courses in secondary and high schools for the new school year, in addition to the compulsory religion class.

It also amended the Regulation on Preschool Education and Primary Education Institutions to require masjids (Islamic prayer rooms) in preschool education institutions.