At the heart of the matter is the question of Maa’rif’s credentials to take over the schools instead of its Pakistani management. Turkey is least known for its standard of education. Moreover, the Erdogan-backed organisation is neither experienced in the education field nor apolitical. The organisation is already scared with allegation of child sexually abuse in Turkey.
Amnesty South Asia Director Champa Patel: “With 24 million Pakistani children out of school, Pakistan’s decision to expel teachers from the Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges will only hurt Pakistan’s children. What the country needs is more classrooms and more teachers, not a politically-motivated decision to purge educators at the behest of the Turkish government.”
Mohammed Aqeel, 24, who attended the Peshawar school and now teaches there, called the visa cancellations “a shameful event” that had compromised Pakistan’s independence and damaged its educational standards. “There is no foreign ideology here,” he said. “I love this school. It grooms us to be good human beings as well as students.”
The motive behind Maarif Foundation is to use it as a tool to pressurize African countries to transfer ownership of Hizmet movement linked schools to the Maarif Foundation since the request for the closure of these schools were turned down for lacking in merit.
What is the sense in advocating for the transfer of investments of private individuals to a government backed NGO? Is President Erdogan indirectly telling African leaders that his empire in Turkey extends to African countries hence the outrageous demand? From the preceding, it is clear that President Erdogan has little or no respect for African nations hence this anomaly. I also beg to state here that the politics of Turkey should be left in Turkey.
However, Vibor Handzic, head of the smaller Nasa Stranka party in the Sarajevo municipality of Stari Grad, said, “We must not accept the logic by which Erdogan’s regime can be both prosecutor and judge and may persecute people [in Bosnia] with no evidence,” Handzic said. Bosna Sema concedes that Gulen’s ideas inspired its founders but dismisses claims that it is linked to terrorism or to the failed coup.
The act of sending to Turkey over 400 Turkish citizens working and studying in the Pak-Turk International School system is highly condemnable. They have been living in Pakistan since 1995 and this is their home now. Their kids were born and brought up in Pakistan. It is heart-wrenching to see that they are suddenly being treated like terrorists.
The point is that Turkish teachers have not committed any crime in Pakistan. Abrupt exodus of those teachers would destroy teaching system in Pak-Turk schools in Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif should have considered the interest of citizens of Pakistan before submitting to unfair requests of Turkish government.
With more than 120,000 public workers suspended and nearly 40,000 people in prison, the aftermath of Turkey’s failed July 15 coup is being felt across every part of society, including its highest-ranked schools. The day after the coup attempt, 1,577 deans — working at nearly every university in the country — were forced to resign. An estimated 200,000 students were left in limbo after the closure of 15 universities and 1,043 private schools.
“The government will neither close down Pak-Turk schools in the country nor will it hand them over to anyone,” announced the Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Baligh Ur Rehman. According to the minister, Pak-Turk schools are registered with the relevant Pakistani authorities and therefore, they will continue to operate in the country.
A student at the Pak-Turk School in Lahore was perplexed at the abrupt deportation of all Turkish teachers at the request of the Turkish President Erdogan. “The Pak-Turk School changed my outlook in life. The teachers were more than simply teachers, they were mentors and helped students in all aspects of life,” this student exclaimed. “Why are they kicking out my teachers who have done so much for my country?” he wondered.
All the parents were depressed and disappointed at the forced exit of Turkish staff. They looked sad with tearful eyes bade farewell to the Turkish staff. Mr. Osman Arslanhan along with the other Turkish staff made a symbolic burial of a heart which was full of hearty wishes of the Turkish staff and drawings made by the Turkish children. The heart was buried with tears in the eyes by all the Turkish staff.
The students, who have been groomed and educated by the Turkish teachers at the PakTurk schools, seem down in the dumps since word about their mentors’ departure got round. The teachers are scheduled to leave Pakistan in the coming week following the government’s deadline.