Date posted: November 15, 2013
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) plans to abolish educational institutions that assist high school students in preparing for the national university admission examination.
Legal experts say the move would be against the freedom of companies to operate for profit, as well as a violation of the right to education. The government has finished work on the draft version of a law that foresees the closure of all kinds of prep schools, or dershanes, beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, and the imposition of fines on those that continue to operate. The move is seen as a huge blow to free enterprise, and others have criticized the idea for its potential to block upward mobility in Turkish society.
According to Bugün columnist Erhan Başyurt, the standard of education is not equal across the country and preparatory courses help to raise Turkey’s level of education. Although the government claims that preparatory courses disrupt equal opportunity, preparatory courses and free education centers try to address unequal opportunity, said Başyurt. Başyurt wrote that students who go to vocational high schools and imam-hatip high schools are the most disadvantaged students in the current education system and preparatory courses play a great role in teaching students what is necessary to be successful when taking the university entrance examination.
Zaman’s Hüseyin Gülerce denied allegations made by some columnists that there is tension between the government and Hizmet movement due to government’s steps to bring an end to these preparatory courses, saying that Hizmet does not own all preparatory course schools in the country. What bothers members of Hizmet about the end of the preparatory courses is that the government has not given a clear or reasonable explanation as to why they are taking these steps, Gülerce said.
Source: Today's Zaman , November 15, 2013