Turkey: A third of complaints to Parliament concern education

AGORA moderator's picture

A third of all the petitions sent by Turkish citizens to Parliament in the past year involved problems with the Turkish education system, according to the annual activity report of the commission in Parliament responsible for handling complaints from the general public.

The parliamentary Petition Commission recently announced in its yearly activity report that 150,000 of the 450,000 petitions the commission received in the past year had to do with the education system, the latest changes to which stand out as a source of major resentment among citizens.

The Petition Commission is constitutionally granted the right to determine and bring matters it deems important, after reviewing the petitions it receives, to the agenda of Parliament's General Assembly.

The abolishment of privately owned university preparatory institutions is the most complained about issue in the Turkish education system, according to figures from the commission.

Thirty-one percent of the petitions about the education system criticized the closure of prep schools. The second most commonly complained about issues related to personal rights and liberties, while the third concerned the difficulties principals and teachers in public schools encounter.

However the petitions complaining about the closure of prep schools were have been left unaddressed by Parliament as it hasn't yet assigned a sub-committee for this particular issue.

The prep schools are scheduled to be transformed into private schools as of September 2015 after a law passed by the government in March. Subsequently the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) appealed to the Constitutional Court for cancellation of the law. The court is currently reviewing the application of the CHP.

Despite the provisions of the law, representatives of the Union of Private Preparatory Schools (ÖZDEBİR), the Güven Preparatory Schools Owners Association (GÜVENDER), the All Private Schools Association (TÖDER) and the Private Education Association (ÖZDER) issued a joint statement in August saying that their prep schools started their educational programs as usual on Aug. 26.

The statement also mentioned that the applications to prep schools have boomed, especially in the southern provinces of Turkey.

SOURCE: Today's Zaman, September 23rd 2014: https://www.todayszaman.com/national_commission-a-third-of-complaints-to...