The Provincial Directorate of National Education in the northwestern province of Bursa’s Osmangazi district on March 23 dismissed Mithatpaşa Secondary School Principal Haydar Akın after he instructed teachers to have male and female students sit separately.
The principal sent an official instruction to the teachers, saying: “Dear fellow teachers, as of March 22, the seating arrangement in all classes should be changed and an order should be created in such a way that male students sit together with male students, and female students with female students.”
Several rights groups, including the Women's Councils, slammed the principal's instruction, calling for a secular and scientific education.
Bursa’da bir orta okulda okul müdürü, erkek öğrenciler ile kız öğrencilerin yan yana oturmaması için öğretmenlere talimat verdi.— Kadın Meclisleri (@kadinmeclisleri) March 23, 2022
Bu zihniyete karşı toplumsal cinsiyet eşitliği temelli, bilimsel, laik bir eğitim için mücadele edeceğiz. Okullarda da eşitliği sağlatacağız. pic.twitter.com/yJZ093Vc7M
After the document stirred huge reaction in social media, the Provincial Directorate of National Education initiated an investigation into the principal.
The Education and Science Workers' Union (Eğitim-Sen) also called for the dismissal of the principal.
“As in different areas of social life, practices in the education system and schools to raise a generation in accordance with the government's own worldview have become a clear pressure and imposition on our children and youth. It is clear that this outdated mentality is a concrete reflection of the idea that male and female students should be taught in separate rows, in separate classes, and then in separate schools," Eğitim-Sen said.
"It is clear that such a distorted and morbid approach, which contradicts the most basic principles of educational science, means challenging secular education,” it said.
Meanwhile, a group of lawyers registered with the Ankara Bar Association on March 23 filed a criminal complaint against the principal.