Some Turkish schools included Quran training in the program for summer school intended to make up for the in-class time students lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, the daily BirGün reported on July 1.
Not listed in the official curriculum for the "I'll be at catch-up classes" program, a Quran teaching course was present in many school's schedules for July 15 and July 16.
The inclusion of Quran classes in the make-up period curriculum is illegal, as the Education Ministry didn't list the course in the official schedule, said Özer Tuncer, chairman for an Istanbul office of Turkish education union Eğitim Sen.
"School administrators are not in compliance with [the official curriculum] and are acting outside of their authority and jurisdiction," Tuncer said.
The chairman for one of Eğitim Sen's Ankara offices, Hüseyin Köklü said that the Quran training was not in compliance with the goals of the compensatory training period.
"[Adding Quran classes] is not in line with the nature of education, which is a public service. The make-up classes are intended to prepare kids socially, emotionally, physically and academically, not to give them religious information," Köklü added.
Ironically, the Education Ministry had said in an official statement about the compensatory summer classes that the practice was intended to "provide equal opportunities to all."