Justice Aamer Farooq of the Islamabad High Court on Friday disposed of a petition filed by Pak-Turk Educational Foundation against the possible handover of its schools to another Turkish educational network, the Maarif Foundation.
Renowned Scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand was the chief guest and distributed the certificates, plaques, and cash prizes among winners. Addressing the ceremony, Mubarakmand said that PakTurk International Schools and Colleges have been striving hard to provide quality education to the Pakistani youth since 1995.
Bilal, a parent, told media that the network consisted of 28 schools and colleges in 10 cities of the country with a staff strength of 1700 including 108 Turkish teachers, teaching around 12,000 students from pre-school to A level. Since 1995, he added, the schools have been giving quality education to Pakistani students with no political motivation or illegal activity.
A network of schools in Ethiopia linked to Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen is changing ownership. The sale of the Nejashi Ethio-Turkish International Schools follows pressure from the government of Turkish President Erdogan, who is urging countries that host institutions inspired by Gulen to close or take them over.
“All the Turkish teachers and administrators have left Pakistan and the schools are being run by Pakistanis,” said one of the parents Syed Amir Abdullah. He added that the government still seemed hell bent on ruining these institutions by handing them over to an ‘infamous organisation’ which has no experience of running them.
Parents of students of Pak-Turk schools and colleges blasted the Pakistan government for handing over the education system to a Turkish nonprofit organization called Maarif Foundation. They said that the schools and colleges would suffer if handed-over to the “poorly-equipped and infamous” Maarif Foundation.
As many as 108 Turkish employees of the Pak Turk Schools, along with their families, have been in the United Nations’ protection after Pakistani authorities denied them an extension in their visas to work in the country. The applicants had told UNHCR they feared arrest, coercion and torture by the Erdogan government in Turkey in case the Pakistani government forcibly deported them to Istanbul.
Despite tremendous efforts exerted by the government, only a few countries have given in to pressure from Ankara over the shutdown of Hizmet-linked schools, with a majority of them refusing to meet the demands of the Turkish government.
Brooklyn Amity School became a site where students dealt with all kinds of animals, including alligators, frogs, reindeer, sharks, cows, pandas, bees, and seals. As a host of the First Lego League qualifier competition, 11 different schools came to Amity School. This year, the FLL’s concept was “Animal Allies,” which allowed students to think and act like scientists and engineers.
The R. Shahin Friendship School in Batumi, among the most in-demand schools in the whole country, was denied authorization by the General Educational Authorization Council of Georgia. Fingers are pointed at Turkey’s Erdogan as he is increasing political pressure on the countries where his arch-rival, Fethullah Gulen, still maintains a foothold.
The director assured the public that claims linking the institution to an alleged terror network were grossly untrue and a fabrication made with the intention of spoiling its image. “Our schools have no link with any terror group, we are a local registered charity organisation where every single sent obtained from schools fee is used for the redevelopment of the schools,” he added.
Erdogan wants the Gulen-linked schools in Africa to be closed down, although they are the very educational establishments which are popular with Africa’s middle class. They have sprung up all over Africa in recent years. They are an affordable alternative to French schools.